School meal vouchers for thousands of Nottinghamshire children

Hundreds of schoolchildren across Mansfield and Ashfield will be provided with free school meals vouchers over the school summer holidays, as authorities try to help people fight the rise in living costs.

Nottinghamshire Council will again be providing vouchers, as well as helping vulnerable Nottinghamshire pensioners, and other households who are struggling to make ends meet, by using Government money earmaked for supporting those in need.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in March he would be doubling the amount of money available through the Household Support Fund.

In Nottinghamshire, the fund has already seen £5.6 million of funding used to provide food vouchers to those children entitled to free school meals during school holidays between November and March, and financial support given to households and individuals most in need of help to cover essential household costs, such as food, energy, and water bills.

Children and families will be supported over the summer break.

The second tranche of £5.6m will be administered by the county council in partnership with its borough and district council partners.

The funding must be distributed by September 30 and to date £1,354,560 has already been allocated to provide food vouchers for thousands of children who were eligible for FSM during the Easter holiday and the recent half-term break.

In addition to this, the county council has now committed to supporting about 30,000 children from low-income households over the school summer holidays, by providing a further £1.5m worth of food vouchers to FSM-entitled children.

This means each entitled child will receive £50 of food support for the five-week period.

The funding will be rolled out in the coming weeks and will rely on referrals made by a network of frontline workers across the county. The county council intends to once again use a trusted voucher scheme to deliver it.

Coun John Cottee, county council cabinet member for communities, said: “The county council continues to recognise the financial difficulties faced by a significant number of households across the county.

“I very much welcome the news that the Government has extended the Household Support Fund which will allow us to help those who need it the most by providing vouchers towards food and energy bills, and for holiday food vouchers for those on free school meals.”

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