Free school meals to continue this Christmas

30 November 2021

2021, Free School Meals

Free school meals to continue this Christmas,   as council reveals £6.7m Household Support Fund


Food vouchers for children   eligible for free school meals will continue over both the Christmas and   February holidays, as Norfolk County Council reveals a DWP funded package of   support for the winter.


Funded via the UK   Government’s Household Support Fund, the £6.7m package will see the council   extend its holiday food voucher offer, as well as continuing to working in   partnership with district, borough and city councils, to help those in most need.


The move is part of a one-off   package of support, providing a bridge between the end of both furlough and   the Universal Credit top-up. The aim is to give extra support to those facing   significant hardship, as the economy begins to recover from the pandemic.


Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader   of Norfolk County Council, said: “Our economy is gradually recovering from   the pandemic but we know that some of our residents are continuing to face financial difficulties. This one-off package of support will help those most   in need to access food and funds over the winter months, including help with energy and water costs.

“Building on the strong   partnerships established across Norfolk, we are working alongside the   district councils, the voluntary sector and schools to make sure we can between us reach those who need this support the most. I hope this will provide some help over the Christmas period – a time which can be especially   difficult for those facing financial hardship.”


The fund will be divided up   in several different ways, including:

  • £2.4m for free school meals - those eligible will receive £55 in vouchers for the Christmas period (a top-up on the usual £15 per week) and £15 for the February half-term break.

  • £1.2m for Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) – an extension of the county council’s existing scheme to provide emergency financial help, essential household goods and advice and support.

  • £1.4m to district councils for community support –

  • £1m of support targeted to voluntary and community groups, via Norfolk Community Foundation. Norfolk’s voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations as well as town and parish councils and faith groups, will be able to apply for £50 vouchers for groceries / household essentials to distribute to those in need.

  • £500,000 –for local support with food.

The majority of people offered support will receive this directly from organisations that they   already trust and are in contact with. Anyone struggling this winter can findout about support available by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/wintersupport
 

Free school meals to continue this Christmas