Voucher scheme lifeline for families who receive free school meals
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Families whose children receive benefits-related free school meals will receive vouchers to help with the costs of food over the summer.
Lancashire County Council will provide funding for schools to provide vouchers worth a total of £90. Schools may provide this to parents and carers in one payment of £90 to cover the entire school holiday, or by weekly payments of £15. Each individual school will decide on how the vouchers are distributed to parents and carers.
The families of young people who have just left secondary school will also receive the vouchers.
The electronic shopping vouchers will be distributed from the schools that the children and young people attend and will be available to use to buy food at a range of supermarkets from the start of the school summer holiday.
The scheme is being partially funded by central government's Covid Support Grant with the shortfall being made up by Lancashire County Council.
County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "These vouchers will be a vital lifeline during the summer for those families who are most in need.
"We're pleased that the government has extended its Covid Support Grant for the summer as the long summer break can be a real challenge for our poorest families in Lancashire and will help ensure that children will be able to have healthy and nourishing meals during the holiday period."
If a family is eligible for free school meals, their school will be in touch with them about the voucher scheme. Parents who think their family is newly eligible should contact their school as soon as possible.
Similar to the term-time voucher scheme, the vouchers can be used at Aldi, Asda, McColl’s, Morrison's, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Company Shop Group and Iceland, including The Food Warehouse Stores.
Families can redeem vouchers by either presenting them on their smartphone or tablet, or a paper copy.
Families who are currently receiving Free School Meals, and the following benefits, will receive the vouchers directly from schools and colleges:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on
- Universal Tax Credit
Information about the eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found at www.lancashire.gov.uk/children-education-families/schools/free-school-meals