Vulnerable children receive summer holiday lunch money in West Northamptonshire

Children and families

21 July 2021

Picture of a healthy packed lunch

The least well-off families in West Northamptonshire have received a share of a £850,000 fund to ensure vulnerable children are fed over the school holidays.

Just under 9,500 families who already receive vouchers for free school meals during term time have now also received vouchers of £90 which can be spent at many of the major supermarkets over the six-week summer holiday.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has been working with schools to gather lists of eligible pupils after the Government announced the Household Support Grant Scheme to pay for free school meals or fuel costs in June.

Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet member for Children and Education, said: “We saw early-on in the lock down how many low-income families weren’t being furloughed and just lost their jobs and any form of independent income. It is up to us to ensure their children are protected from those circumstances as much as possible.

“But we have to be clear that this has been a one-off payment from Government and this kind of support to mitigate the impact of Covid and the lock down cannot continue indefinitely.

“We will be monitoring our progress closely and will lobby Government if the evidence shows further support is needed."

The vouchers equate to £15 per eligible child, per week over six weeks.

After schools provided lists of eligible families, WNC generated individual pupil vouchers and returned them to schools for distribution.

Schools with the largest number of eligible pupils received the vouchers first and the rest in descending order in time for the start of the school holidays last week.