Council to use £1.5m fund to feed youngsters in school holidays

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Rotherham Council is set to use £1.5m of a government fund to feed school children during the holidays.

Proposals include providing supermarket vouchers to families of children in receipt of free school meals during the spring half term, summer, and autumn half term holidays.

More than 1,000 extra families required free school meals in Rotherham in the last year, and the council will provide the vouchers for 13,200 children.

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The funding has been provided by the government’s household support fund, which provides crisis support to vulnerable households in most need with the cost of essentials.

More than 1,000 extra families required free school meals in Rotherham in the last year, and the council will provide the vouchers for 13,200 children.More than 1,000 extra families required free school meals in Rotherham in the last year, and the council will provide the vouchers for 13,200 children.
More than 1,000 extra families required free school meals in Rotherham in the last year, and the council will provide the vouchers for 13,200 children.

Of the £2.4m fund, Rotherham council will also set aside £500,000 to help with the cost of council tax, £160,000 to help with housing costs, £174,000 towards energy bills, £25,000 for household and personal hygiene packages, and £45,000 to support care leavers.

Councillor David Sheppard, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for social inclusion and neighbourhood working, said: “For many people in Rotherham, support through this funding has been a lifeline throughout the cost-of-living crisis. I am pleased that there are options to continue some of the schemes, such as the free school meal vouchers for school children, which have had and will continue to have a huge impact on residents’ lives.”

The council was previously awarded a full year UK Government Household Support Fund grant of just under £5m.

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It used the funding to provide165,000 free school meals vouchers; support 2,000 households with their energy bills through its energy crisis support scheme; support 15,000 households with their council tax bills; support 900 households with housing costs; and provide 15,669 crisis food parcels over the year.