Sheffield council rectify free school meal voucher problems after error code left parents unable to claim

Sheffield council have fixed problems which prevented several parents across the city from redeeming their free school meal vouchers earlier today.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 7:29 pm

Families who were eligible for the local authority’s £15 school meal voucher scheme were unable to redeem them today after an error code appeared on the website.

Parents complained that they were unable to contact council workers to fix the problem with the online codes earlier today (Friday, October 30).

It comes after MPs voted down a motion to continue to provide free school meals during the holidays, as many families face financial hardship due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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Parents in Sheffield had problems accessing the free meals ecodes today.

Sheffield City Council vowed to support struggling families using local government money to fund a new voucher system which would give parents a code to allow them to redeem a voucher worth £15 to be used in any supermarket.

Around 22,000 children in the city are currently in receipt of free school meals and will receive a voucher meaning the scheme will cost the local authority £330,000.

The issues with error codes appearing on the website have now been resolved, according to the local authority.

In a statement, Sheffield City Council said: “In the last few days we have created a system to ensure those in need received £15 towards providing meals for their children.

"The website link provided in the letter issued to parents in receipt of free school meals was not operating correctly this morning and caused problems for some families who were looking to redeem the ecodes given.

"The problem was identified quickly and remedied to provide people with the most direct way to access the voucher code.

"We apologise for any distress caused.

"If anyone is still having issues please use or call us directly for assistance on 0114 273 4567.

“It is important to add, that we would not have been in this position if the Government had provided support measures to make sure families who needed help had some additional support during half term.

"If this is not changed before Christmas, Sheffield City Council has pledged to cover the cost of free school meals for families over the festive period.”

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