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Wokingham Borough Council is using its remaining allocation of the government’s Covid Local Support grant to ensure pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals during term time continue to have access to healthy meals during the upcoming summer holidays.
The government has extended the Covid Local Support Grant, which was set to end in June, until 30 September. The council is using the additional funds to provide food and grocery vouchers to support children and young people who receive benefits-related free school meals over the six weeks summer holiday to the value of £15 per child per week. The vouchers will be distributed to eligible families through schools.
Cllr Graham Howe, executive member for children’s services, said: “This has been a really difficult year for all of us, but particularly so for families with young children whose lives have been so disrupted. The council wants to ensure that no child in Wokingham Borough goes hungry this summer and that parents are given the support they need to feed their families in these difficult times.”
Borough pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals are also eligible to register for the council’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme, a new initiative funded by the Department for Education which provides free places at organised holiday activity sessions over the summer and Christmas holidays in 2021. A free healthy meal is provided at every session.
There is a programme for primary school aged children, secondary school pupils, pupils with SEND and a series of community activities for all families. Parents and carers of eligible pupils will have been contacted through their school. For more information about the programme, visit the council’s website www.wokingham.gov.uk and search for ‘Holiday Activities Programme’.
Cllr Howe continued: “We hope that the combination of providing food vouchers and free places at holiday activity sessions over the summer help our children and young people enjoy their summer holidays and help the families in the borough who most need our support. It’s been a challenging year and these young people have earned a bit of summer fun.”