More than 15,000 children across Devon will receive food vouchers over half-term.
Families of children currently receiving free school meals will automatically be sent supermarket vouchers to help them buy food over the week-long holiday to replace the meals a child would have received during term-time.
The vouchers, worth £15 a week for each child, can be redeemed in major supermarkets across Devon. Arrangements are also in place for families who cannot get to a supermarket, Devon County Council has confirmed,
It’s part of a £2 million programme organised by the local authority to combat holiday hunger over the school holidays.
Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for Communities, said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on families, particularly the most vulnerable.
‘Supporting these families during the holidays with vouchers to replace the free school meals their children receive during term time is a lifeline for many parents and carers and we are working with our schools to make sure nobody misses out.
‘In addition to issuing the vouchers to families directly, we’re also working with our Early Help teams, children’s centres, food networks and district councils to help vulnerable families who may not be eligible for free school meals.
‘I encourage anyone who is struggling to get in touch, support is available.’
Many families in Devon have seen their financial circumstances change due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Those who did not previously qualify for free school meals but whose income has recently reduced or stopped should apply online through the Devon County Council website to check if they are eligible for this support as soon as possible before Friday, February 5 in order to receive the holiday vouchers for the February half-term holiday.
Alternatively, contact Devon County Council’s education helpline on 0345 155 1019.
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