Food vouchers will once again be provided over the summer holidays by KCC for families whose children are entitled to benefits-related free school meals.
£50 food voucher
One £50 food voucher, that can be used in supermarkets and some local shops, will be provided to each eligible child or young person by their school or college. KCC is funding the vouchers from part of its allocation from the Government’s Household Support Fund.
Free Holiday Activities
In addition, KCC is once again running its free Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) for children eligible for free school meals during the summer break, which is funded by the Department for Education. Each child is entitled to four weeks of up to 16 hours of free activities, with lunch provided. Nearly 8,000 places are available at more than 140 venues across Kent.
Eligible families will receive a voucher from their school which shows their eligibility for a place and can then use it to book a place with a local provider. HAF providers offer a range of activities, from cookery, through to fitness and sports-based clubs, to some focusing on outdoor learning.
Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “For many families, school holidays can be especially difficult with the extra cost of more meals and paying for more activities for their children while they are at home.
Easing pressure on vulnerable families
“I am pleased that we can help ease the pressure on some of Kent’s most vulnerable families, particularly at this difficult time, by continuing to provide this valuable support.”
Mrs Prendergast urged all parents and carers who feel their children may be entitled to receive benefits-related Free School Meals, but who have not yet applied for them, to visit the website – www.kent.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals – as soon as possible so that no one misses out on this scheme.
Schools are issuing the vouchers to eligible pupils from this week, as they have done for previous holidays, so parents and carers should direct any enquiries to their child’s school.