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Herts County Council approves £50 free school meals summer holiday support

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Hertfordshire County Council has approved £50 to be spent on food for each child entitled to benefit-related free school meals over the summer holidays.

The digital vouchers can be redeemed at major supermarket chains and are being distributed to families by their nursery, school or college.

Cllr Teresa Heritage, HCC's executive member for children, young people and families, said: "We know that the cost of feeding growing children during the holidays can be expensive and so we're pleased to be able to offer some help towards the cost of food for families entitled to free school meals this summer.

Cllr Teresa Heritage (49468262)
Cllr Teresa Heritage (49468262)

"This support is part of our ongoing work to ensure that those most affected by Covid-19 have the help they need to get back on their feet. In addition to this scheme, there is dedicated funding in place to help families through our Hertfordshire Family Centre Service and via HertsHelp to make sure that no child or young person in the county need go hungry."

The funding has been provided by the Government's Department for Work and Pensions.

In addition, children aged 5 to 16 who are entitled to benefit-related free school meals have been invited to attend the HAPpy holiday activity programme through their school. Thousands of free spaces are available across the county.

Holiday support (49468278)
Holiday support (49468278)

The scheme, run in partnership with Herts Sports Partnership and Hertfordshire Community Foundation, will see all sorts of clubs and organisations providing enriching days with lots of physical activity and healthy food. To book a place using a code provided by schools, visit sportinherts.org.uk/happy/booking.

For those families who are not eligible for free school meals but need extra support, HertsHelp may be able to offer advice and help with household bills. See www.hertshelp.net.

If you have children under 19, you may also be able to access the following support and services:

  • Hertfordshire Family Centre Service offers advice, health services and practical support to parents, carers, children and young people and is helping families who could benefit from Local Covid-19 Support Grant funding. Call 0300 123 7572 or find the nearest centre at hertsfamilycentres.org.
  • If you are at least 10 weeks' pregnant or have a child under four, you could be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers to spend on milk (including formula), fruit, vegetables and pulses (including fresh, frozen and canned). More than 5,000 pregnant women and young children in Hertfordshire are missing out on £221-£442 per child a year. Check your eligibility on gov.uk/healthy-start or speak to your family centre.
  • If you are at least 10 weeks' pregnant or have a child under four, you can also get free vitamins. Call 0300 123 7572.
  • To find out if you are eligible for free school meals in the autumn term, visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.

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