Supermarket vouchers available for eligible South Yorkshire families on free school meals over half term
Rotherham Council is set to provide supermarket vouchers to ensure that 11,000 youngsters on free school meals are fed this half-term.
Schools will distribute the £15 vouchers, funded through the council’s hardship support fund.
The £2.5m funding is part of a one-off government grant to provide temporary respite for families impacted by the recent £20 per week reduction in Universal Credit, which came into force at the end of September.
Council bosses say the number of families claiming free school meals has increased by more than a quarter since the start of the pandemic, up from 8,557 in January 2020 to more than 11,000.
Councillor Victoria Cusworth, cabinet member for children’s services at Rotherham Council said: “It’s in everyone’s interest that all Rotherham’s children are well fed, able to learn and engage in school, and live their lives to the full.
“For some of our families this scheme has been a lifeline over the last 12 months and we know that right now many local families are really feeling the pinch.
“Whilst the government has not heeded the call made by councillors at our recent meeting to protect the Universal Credit uplift, they have provided some one-off funding and we are acting as quickly as we can to once against ensure that reaches those who need it.”