February half term food support to combat holiday hunger

Somerset County Council is once again working with schools to provide food vouchers to families eligible for Free School Meals to combat holiday hunger over the February half-term.

The Council has helped provide food vouchers to those children in need of support during the school holidays since October 2020, providing a much-needed boost to families who have felt the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Somerset is using approximately £1.1m from the Government’s Household Support Fund to fund food vouchers for children eligible for Free School Meals over the Christmas, February half term, and Easter school holidays.

The allocation for February half-term provides vouchers worth £15 per pupil for the week, and includes additional funding so that schools can also allocate vouchers to families who are in need of support but do not qualify for Free School Meals.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am pleased we are in a position to provide this support to families over the February half-term. With the current rise in the cost of living rising we know this funding will provide significant boost to families who need it in Somerset.”

The Easter holidays will see the return of the popular Holiday Activities and Food programme in Somerset with young people aged 5-16 years who qualify for Free School Meals given the opportunity to take part in fun physical activities and be provided with a nutritious meal.

Children eligible for Free School Meals will still receive food vouchers at Easter, but the value of these vouchers will be £10 to take into account the food being provided as part of the Holiday Activities and Food initiative.

Somerset County Council will again team up with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to deliver the programme across the county which has seen children and young people take part in a wide range of activities from sports and music workshops, to kayaking and climbing.

More information about the Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset initiative can be found at www.sasp.co.uk/happy-healthy-holidays.

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