Kent County Council has announced food vouchers will be available during the October half term if children are eligible for free school meals.
Families can apply for one £15 voucher per child either via the website or by phoning the helpline on 03000 41 24 24. Eligible families have until 5pm on Monday 2nd November to apply. If families are unable to afford food for their children, how they will be able to apply online is beyond us?!
Despite Boris Johnson’s refusal to extend free school meals for children in England over the half-term holiday, saying he was “very proud” of the government’s support so far, many local authorities across the country, including Medway Council and Greenwich, have pledged to provide meals during the half-term period.
the government will support families and businesses, jobs and livelihoods, across the country
County council leader, Roger Gough said “This support for families in need has always been in place. I hope, though, that this helpline will enable people who need urgent help to get it and to get it quickly. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we support the most vulnerable within our community. I hope that this service will quickly provide families with the help they need and ensure that no child in Kent is left to go hungry.”
The UK government extended free school meals to eligible children during the Easter holidays earlier this year and, after Manchester Uniteds Marcus Rashford’s campaigning, did the same for the summer holiday. But it has refused to do so again.
The need for extra food for children has come about to help people struggling during the pandemic with various needs. Boris Johnson has responded by saying the government was supporting families with a Universal Credit increase of £20 a week, introduced in April. The government also said it gave £63m to councils to help people who are struggling to afford food and essentials.
So where do you stand on the issue of food vouchers for children? Are there children in need of these vouchers or does Universal Credit provide enough funds and are people just expecting more and more handouts?