Government to provide Easter holiday free school meals vouchers
The Council last week wrote to families whose children eligible for free school meals for financial reasons to inform them that the Council and their school would be providing supermarket vouchers to support qualifying families over the school Easter holidays to bridge the gap until the Government’s national e-voucher scheme begins on 20 April.
Since these letters were sent, the Government has changed its position and decided that it will introduce the national free school e-voucher scheme earlier than planned and this will now include the Easter holidays. As a result, local schools have been working hard with council support over the last two days to implement the Government’s new scheme at very short notice.
If your child is eligible for free school meals, parents will now receive an email, letter or text from your child’s school which will contain a unique reference number enabling access to a choice of supermarket vouchers.
Each eligible child will be entitled to a voucher worth £15 per week for each of the two weeks holiday. Participating supermarkets where these will be accepted are: Sainsbury's, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose and M&S.
Due to some teething problems with the Government’s national voucher ordering system, a small number of borough schools have made alternative local arrangements such as providing vouchers for Asda. Your child’s school will be in touch when they are able to provide you with the information relevant to their offer.
If you have not received confirmation from your child’s school by the end of Friday 10 April, please contact the school directly early next week.
Cllr Shaun Davies Council Leader said: “The Council have provided packed lunches for qualifying children since schools were officially closed in late March. This was to ensure we continue to support children in families who are struggling financially.
“More than 52,000 meals were provided to these children across the borough over the two weeks before the start of the Easter holidays, which has been a huge task to organise.”
Cllr Shirley Reynolds Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education and Life Long Learning said: “The Council had been ready to step in and to continue to provide support for these families during the Eater holiday period and we’re pleased that the Government has now decided to extend its national voucher scheme to cover this period too.”
If you are running out of money for essentials, such as food or heating, you can call our emergency welfare assistance line on 01952 380400 or make an online application at www.telford.gov.uk/crisis.