Free school meal vouchers and £150 grants for struggling pensioners approved by Rotherham Council’s cabinet

A supermarket voucher scheme for families of youngsters on free school meals is set to continue until at least the October half term, after Rotherham Council’s cabinet voted to extend it.

Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:52 am

The £15 supermarket vouchers, which were first introduced during the pandemic, will be provided up until the October half term 2022, including the upcoming May-June half term.

A further £250,000 will be used to distribute grants of up to £150 to help struggling pensioners with the cost of living increase.

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Free school meal vouchers and £150 grants for Rotherham pensioners to be approve...

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A further £250,000 will be used to distribute grants of up to £150 to help struggling pensioners with the cost of living increase.

The cash comes from the government’s Household Support Fund, of which Rotherham Council has been allocated £2,489,029 for the six months from April until September 2022.

More than £1.4m of the fund will be used to support the two schemes, with the remaining £817,000 to be held in reserve, “to allow the council to assess progress with the above schemes and make further allocations in accordance with the grant conditions”.

During today’s (May 16) cabinet meeting, Councillor Chris Read, leader of the council said; “This is the second time the government has given us an allocation of funding for a six month period…with an incentive on tackling some of those cost of living issues that we know families face at the current time.

“The first thing is an extension of free school meals vouchers during school holidays. We’ve been running that process for a year or so.

“This allows us to extend that through to October this year, giving families on low incomes some certainty through the summer holidays in particular.

“Having agreed last month through our covid recovery fund half a million pounds towards supporting families and households with their energy bills, we’re topping that up with some additional funding specifically for pensioner households.

“That will give us some additional flexibility to make some further small grants towards pensioner households who might be facing a particular squeeze on their incomes.

“The process will be up and running in the next couple of weeks.”