Free school meal provision extended in St Helens during lockdown

St Helens Borough Council has extended its free school meal voucher provision to support school pupils during England’s third national lockdown.

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 7th January 2021, 10:38 am
St Helens Council has extended its free school meal voucher provision to support school pupils during England’s third national lockdown.

In an effort to control Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that schools will be closed until at least the February half-term for most pupils, except vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

During this period, the council’s catering service will continue to provide free school meal vouchers to schools registered with this service, with a £25 voucher - which can be redeemed physically or digitally in supermarkets - issued to schools every two-weeks to give to eligible families.

This follows on from support given over the Christmas break when vouchers were presented to more than 6,150 children eligible for free school meals.

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Councillor Kate Groucutt, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Education, said: “Although some young people are still eligible for face-to-face teaching, including the children of critical workers and any vulnerable children (eg young people with an education, health and care plan or who have been identified as being in need), the majority of pupils will restart the term learning online.

"We are very conscious that having children and young people at home until further notice, straight after Christmas, will put some families under enormous financial strain – so we’re pleased to confirm that this scheme will be extended, for no child deserves to go hungry.”

Families who receive free school meals are also encouraged to check whether they could also receive free Healthy Start Vouchers which are available every week to use to buy healthy food and get free vitamins. Find out more at www.healthystart.nhs.uk A host of recipes to give people ideas on how to spend their vouchers can be found by visiting www.sthelens.gov.uk/recipes If you or someone you know needs help accessing essential items during lockdown, help is available through St Helens Borough Council's Contact Cares team by calling 01744 676767.