A free school lunch scheme in West Northamptonshire has been extended to cover the next two school holidays.
The most vulnerable children in the new unitary authority area will receive lunch vouchers for the February half term and the Easter holidays.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, following a wide-spread national campaign from England and Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford, many councils have implemented a system whereby those children who would usually get free school meals in term time are still supported during school holidays.
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In Northamptonshire, the scheme has continued and is set to carry on for at least the next two school holidays.
According to the council, the scheme will support 9,500 families by providing a voucher of £15 per week, per child for the combined three weeks of school holidays.
Councilor Fiona Baker, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet member for children, families and education, said: “With great determination we’ve made funding for free school meals last through the entire pandemic, and we’re very pleased to be supporting vulnerable families once again during the first part of this year.
“But that funding is not inexhaustible, and while we continue to lobby for help for those facing the most challenges, this could be the last time we can offer this kind of support.”
Schools are currently being asked to provide lists of eligible families from which WNC will generate individual pupil vouchers that will be returned to schools for distribution.
The initial period of voucher distribution will cover the February half-term period only. The Easter break voucher will be handed out separately.
Schools with the largest number of eligible pupils will receive the vouchers first and the rest in descending order in time for the start of the school holidays next month.