Nottingham City Council is giving out almost £1m of funding to support children receiving Free School Meals this Christmas and February half term.
It follows a debate in which councillors highlighted the levels of child poverty in Nottingham at a Full Meeting of Nottingham City Council on Monday 9 November.
Following the debate, councillors resolved to build on existing work to tackle the issue and gave a commitment to support free schools meals to children during the Christmas and February half term holidays.
More than £945,000 will be spent on food for families where children are in receipt of free school meals. The funding is coming from the Government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme, which came about after campaigning by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.
The Christmas and February schemes will be delivered to parents by schools providing digital vouchers for supermarkets. The vouchers will also be available for qualifying younger children in pre-school in pre-school settings and older children in Further Education settings.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:
“Nottingham City Council will not stand by while children go hungry this Christmas. We will ensure almost £1m of funding is provided directly to households most in need this Christmas and the support will continue into the Spring. Our message is clear, if families need support, they can call the council and we will make sure they get the help they need.”
Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, Councillor Cheryl Barnard said: “2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. Covid-19 has taken lives and also livelihoods. But we are committed to making sure no child goes hungry in Nottingham this Christmas and February half term. We hope this will ease the strain on our most vulnerable families and help people through these difficult times.”
How to claim your voucher
- Schools will shortly receive instructions about how to issue vouchers. If your child usually receives Free School Meals your school will be able to issue you with a £15 voucher for each week of the holiday. The vouchers will be issued to you before your school breaks up for the Christmas holiday.
- Registered pre-school, childcare settings and a Further Education settings will shortly receive instructions about voucher eligibility and how to issue vouchers. These settings will then be able to issue you with a £15 voucher for each week of the holiday. The vouchers will be issued to you before your setting closes for the Christmas holiday.