Free summer school meals for 10,000 children to combat cost of living crisis in West Northamptonshire

Council approves plan for food vouchers and pension top-ups to help meet rising food and energy bills

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 9:46 am
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 10:53 am

More than 10,000 schoolchildren will get free meal vouchers during the summer holidays as part of West Northamptonshire Council’s anti-poverty strategy.

Funding for the £20 weekly commitment was agreed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday (June 14) using cash from the government’s Household Support Fund.

Around £2.6 million from the Department for Work and Pensions will be used by the council to tackle the cost of living crisis.

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More than 10,000 eligible children will get £20 vouchers from West Northamptonshire Council covering the cost of school meals over the summer holidays

The money will be distributed via various packages over the summer with £100 food vouchers and pension credit top-ups for those most in need.

Matt Golby, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Our vision at the council is for everyone to be able to live their best life, free from poverty and inequality.

“The cost-of-living crisis is extremely challenging, and this further allocation of the Household Fund ensures the most vulnerable members of our community will continue to receive vital support to meet essential household costs.

“We are working with a range of partners including schools and local voluntary organisations on arrangements to ensure this funding is received by those who need it most this summer.

“Further details on these arrangements will be publicised in the coming weeks. But pensioners, families facing financial hardship, and older people with disabilities WILL receive the financial support they need.”

Council chiefs will work with more than 30 local voluntary and community groups and organisations to ensure funding also reaches households facing the most severe financial hardship in the face of and rising energy and food costs.

■ £20 per week food vouchers to go to 10,530 children covering the school holiday period.

■ £100 payment voucher for 6,500 residents who receive Pension Credit.

■ £50 Pension Credit top-up for pensioners with severe disabilities.

■ £865,000 of hardship payments to the most vulnerable households across West Northamptonshire.

School meal vouchers are expected to be sent direct to parents via schools a couple of weeks before the start of the holidays.

Eligible pensioners will not need to apply for extra pension top-ups and should get letters notifying them of payments during July.

The money is in addition to two government payments totalling £650, part of the £1,200 support package for low-income households already announced.

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