Wirral children who normally get free school meals will receive vouchers to cover the cost of food, as Wirral Council steps in to ensure no child goes without a lunch now schools are closed.
There are plans for a Government scheme to support children eligible for free school meals but it is not yet in place.
In Wirral, the council has put its own scheme in place, in partnership with local schools, to bridge the gap. Parents of children who are eligible for free school meals will receive a voucher from their child’s school. This can then be used to buy food from local supermarkets to provide the lunchtime meal their child would usually get from school. This shopping should be done as infrequently as possible in line with the ‘stay at home’ instructions brought in by Government this week.
To further help ease the pressure on families, the council will also provide the vouchers to eligible children though the Easter holidays.
Parents of eligible children will be contacted by their child’s school using the contact details they have on record for families.
Paul Boyce, Corporate Director for Children’s Services said:
“We know this is a very challenging time for families across Wirral, especially those who would usually receive support through their child’s free school meals voucher. We want to ensure that those children are still provided with this support, even if they are not in school at the moment. The safety and wellbeing of our families and children will always be the highest priority.
“I hope this partnership between the council and schools helps, even in just a small way, to ease the pressure.”
This arrangement will be in place until the Government rolls out its intended national scheme to support children on free school meals.