'Struggling families' to get food vouchers for school holidays

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe

Committee chair Cllr Bryony Goodliffe said: “Many families will continue to struggle financially as a result of the pandemic". Her committee is to vote on summer school holiday supermarket food vouchers. - Credit: Archant

Food vouchers for families struggling in the pandemic will be provided over the school summer holidays by Cambridgeshire County Council. 

It follows the pledge by the new joint administration to maintain free school meals for eligible children during school holidays 

The council’s children and young people’s committee will be asked on June 29 to allocate £1.6m to fund it.  

Committee chair Cllr Bryony Goodliffe said: “Many families will continue to struggle financially as a result of the pandemic. 

“It is absolutely right that we prioritise the most vulnerable in society and help them as much as we can.” 

Cllr Maria King, vice-chair of the committee added: “This commendable scheme is one of the many examples of successful cross-party working to which the joint administration has committed itself.” 

The money will come from the Covid support grant scheme and the money will be issued by way of supermarket vouchers.  

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Ratification rests with the strategy and resources committee that meets on July 6.  

The council says the funding follows the winter support grant which provided support during the Christmas break and the Covid support grant during the February half term holiday. 

If agreed, a supermarket voucher will automatically be allocated to parents or carers whose child meets the following criteria: 

In receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium 

Children that access funded two-year-old education 

Children eligible for Free School Meals 

Students eligible for 16+ bursary 

Each eligible child or young person will be issued with vouchers to cover weekday lunch costs during the school summer holiday.  

Vouchers will be sent by email and text and will equate to £3 for each weekday of the holidays.  Further information will be sent to parents on the operation of the scheme in the coming weeks.  

Running alongside this, the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme will provide some support over the school summer holidays. 

The HAF scheme enables local authorities to coordinate free holiday childcare, which includes healthy food and enriching activities for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. 

The programme will be delivered by approved holiday scheme providers and childminders, co-ordinated by Cambridgeshire County Council.