Free School Meals to be provided during May holiday

Liberal Democrat Councillors have ensured that the most vulnerable children in the city will have access to Free School Meal vouchers over May break.


Additional free school meals support during the May school holidays and help with food and utility bills, for households struggling in the Covid-19 pandemic, will be funded from York’s Covid Local Support Grant.

The national fund, formally called the Winter Grant Fund, was launched by the Government last year and financial support has now been extended until 20 June.

Lib Dem councillors have ensured that £50,000 of the £98,000 funding will go towards providing free school meals over the May half term holiday, in the same way families were supported during the Christmas, February half term and Easter holidays. An additional £100,000 of Covid Outbreak Management Funding will be used to support residents with vulnerabilities and those from a BAME background.

The funding will also be used to provide extra support to new claimants and families - with or without children - with their food and utility bills until the June cut off date.

Cllr Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Children and Education, commented:

“The pandemic has exposed the financial vulnerability that too many families experience. Those significant challenges have had to be met with an unprecedented response. The impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt and this additional support to those families and children who need it the most will be welcomed, I am sure.

“Local councils should not be responsible for patching up central government failure to provide sufficient funding to support residents during what remains a difficult time for so many. We will continue to campaign for long term solutions that acknowledge the struggles facing York’s families and call for a nationwide strategy to address child poverty.”

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