Council to continue vouchers for Doncaster children on free school meals during May/June break

Doncaster Council will again allocate resources for free meals to children during the school holidays.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:21 pm

More than 11,500 Doncaster children – 25 per cent of state school pupils – are eligible for free school meals and the scheme to provide lunches through a voucher system will continue through the May break.

The council will carry out the provision of school holiday food vouchers during the May school holiday to children currently in education and in receipt of free school meals.

An equivalent payment for the May school holiday period to non-school age children where the household is in receipt of a council tax reduction or housing benefit due to low income, will also be carried out.

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More than 11,500 Doncaster children - 25 per cent of state school pupils - are eligible for free school meals and the scheme to provide lunches through a voucher system will continue through the May break.

DMBC was handed just over £2.9 million as part of the Household Support Fund which covers April to the end of September.

This latest food voucher scheme is expected to cost just over £235,495 from the same tranche of funding.

Julie Grant, an officer within DMBC, said: “As part of the Spring Statement, the Chancellor made further Household Support Fund available.

“Doncaster Council’s share is £2,989,273 to cover the period from April 1 2022, to September 30, 2022. At least one third of the allocation must be spent on vulnerable households with children, which amounts to at least a further £996,424.

“We have already provided the above to vulnerable households with children over the Easter holidays out of this further allocation of the Household Support Fund and wish to do the same for the May school holidays, the estimated cost is a further £235,495.

“Other parts of this initiative will be included in a key decision report but time is of the essence for the May school holidays, hence this separate decision progressed more urgently.

“The objective is to provide further much needed support to families on the lowest incomes and in most need of support at a time when the cost of food and energy has increased significantly.”

Children are entitled to free school meals if their parent or carer is on benefits, including income support or receiving Universal Credit, with a household income of less than £7,400 a year.