Eligible children entitled to summer free school meals

Free school meals will be provided to all children who qualify over the summer period in a bid to tackle holiday hunger.

As one of the only local authorities in Scotland that provided universal weekly free school meals to around 18,000 children and young people, including all P1 - 3, we had already made the decision to provide a new offer over the summer holidays to those most vulnerable before the welcome announcement by the Scottish Government today.

Around 8,000 children who are eligible will receive a weekly £15 voucher to cover lunch costs over this coming summer holiday period until the start of the new school term.

The provision for universal entitlement for children in P1-3 will finish at the end of the school term on 24 June.

Convener of Education and Families, Councillor Frank McNally, said, "No child should have to experience hunger and as a council, we are committed to providing real support to families in a drive to eradicate child poverty. There are too many families in our community who are feeling the detrimental impact of food poverty and this new unprecedented offer over the holiday period is focused on those in the most need.

"We believe this comprehensive approach through the provision of vouchers which are redeemed at local shops in our towns and villages has greatly assisted families and has been widely welcomed.

"In addition, later this week we will be announcing details of nine summer hubs that will provide support for children of key workers and vulnerable families. To be clear, there are people in our communities who need our support and we will continue to work with our partners to help ensure they receive it."

In addition, free packed lunches through our ground-breaking Club365 programme will continue and can be accessed by eligible children from our planned summer hubs which will be set up for children of key workers and vulnerable families throughout the summer holidays.  There will also be a range of activities programmed, all compliant with social distancing, as we help our communities recover.

Vouchers can be redeemed by being cashed and then spent on food at any shop which has Paypoint, with a list of locations being available at consumer.paypoint.com/.

You can contact the council's Financial Inclusion Team on 01698 332551 or by email Fit@northlan.gov.uk or your local Citizens Advice Bureau www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/

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