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Council confirm holiday meal provision over Easter break

Posted on 29 Mar 2023

FAMILIES eligible for free school meals will receive direct cash payments rather than vouchers during the Easter holidays.

Earlier this month, Councillors approved the plans that would change how financial assistance is provided during the holiday period.

Instead of receiving a voucher – limited to certain supermarkets and shops – families with assessed need for free school meals will now receive money direct to bank accounts.  The payment is equivalent to £2.05 per day per child (this is the cost of a school meal).

Payments are expected to be made by Friday, 31 March.

The move away from vouchers provides better value for money and greater flexibility for families.

The Council already process cash payments for all other supports e.g. school clothing grants and child bridging payments - so changing the school holiday payment to cash rather than vouchers would provide a consistent approach for parents/carers.

This would also provide a streamlined and efficient approach where none of the funding is used for administrative fees or postage.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “We think this new approach offers families much more flexibility, saves in unnecessary admin and associated costs and allows us to provide the best possible support all-year round.”