Nottinghamshire County Council Announces Free School Meals Plan for Christmas

Nottinghamshire County Council will provide funding for food vouchers over the Christmas break to the families of children who are eligible to receive benefits-related free school meals.

The funding will help to provide meals to more than 22,000 Nottinghamshire children during the Christmas holidays and February half term.

The plan, unanimously agreed at the children and young people’s committee on 30 November, will be part of a wider range of measures to help the lowest income households with food and fuel costs over winter as part of the council’s provision from the Government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme. Nottinghamshire county council’s allocation is £2.3m.

Over half of this allocation, £1.2m, will be used to support free school meals schemes for December and February 2021 half term.

A similar scheme in October provided council funding of £650,000 to cover the cost of food vouchers for more than22,000 families in Nottinghamshire and the council pledged then to providing ongoing support for Christmas and February half term school holidays.

The council is writing to school leaders across Nottinghamshire to make them aware of the decision. It is intended that schools will make plans for delivering this locally and the authority will work closely with schools. Schools will be contacting their families directly in the coming weeks about how the scheme will work at their individual school.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Chairman of Children and Young People’s committee, Councillor Philip Owen, said “I welcome this £2.3m extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter. Our commitment is to allocate more than half of this money towards ensuring children don’t go hungry while they are not in school this Christmas and in February half term. We hope that by providing these food vouchers we will be easing the pressure on some of Nottinghamshire’s most vulnerable families at Christmas during what has been a very difficult year.

“We will also provide targeted support for vulnerable families across Nottinghamshire, who are likely to find winter especially challenging this year such as families of children being supported by a social worker or those at risk of homelessness.  

“We remain committed to supporting children and families in Nottinghamshire at this time.”

Nottinghamshire County Council Media Release.

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