Council cash will help feed kids as 1,700 set to go without free school meals - The Evesham Observer

Council cash will help feed kids as 1,700 set to go without free school meals

Rob George 2nd Jun, 2022   0

COUNCIL bosses have stepped in with £25,500 to fund free school meals during half-term for more than 1,700 children across the district as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

Wychavon District Council have been forced to step in to help feed children after discovering schools in Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich would not receive support during the holiday.

It comes amid calls for more children to be given free school meals to help tackle the ‘devastating reality’ of the cost-of-living crisis.

The prices of food, fuel and other goods have surged in recent months in the UK, pushing inflation – the rate at which prices rise – to a 40-year high.

An estimated 2.6million children in the UK live in households which missed meals or struggled to access healthy food during April, according to data from the Food Foundation charity.

Pupils in England can get free school meals during term time up to the end of Year Two. However, older pupils are only eligible if their parents receive certain benefits.

Meanwhile, families on Universal Credit can only get free school meals if their annual income is less than £7,400 without including benefits.

Qualifying families across the district will be given a £15 voucher per child to spend at their preferred local supermarket to ensure they continue to put food on the table during the holidays.

Pupils at 42 schools stand to benefit from the vouchers, which will provide a vital boost to many families struggling with the rising cost of living.

After discovering that schools wouldn’t be receiving the usual support, Wychavon acted quickly to commit the funding to pay for the vouchers.

During half term, additional support with food, finance, activities and more can also be accessed through Here2Help and the Ready Steady Worcestershire scheme.

Coun Chris Day, executive board member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Every child deserves to have healthy and nutritious meals throughout the holidays, as well as during term time.

“We’re proud to fund these vouchers and ensure that no one goes without,” he added.

E-mail [email protected], or visit for more.

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