Council to fund free school meals in October half-term

Friday 23 October 2020

Kensington and Chelsea Council will pay for free school meals for eligible pupils in the borough during next week’s half-term.

Almost 3,300 youngsters will receive £15 vouchers from their schools to cover the cost of meals during the holiday. This is equal to the value of £3 per day for the lunchtime meal they would receive if in school.

The vouchers are the latest in a wide package of Covid support provided by the Council for children and families, which also includes an Early Help Service providing emotional and practical assistance, running two Children’s Centre Hubs which offer one-to-one support to parents and outdoor play sessions aimed at families without gardens or access to safe outdoor space.

Cllr Josh Rendall, Lead Member for Family and Children’s Services, said:

“We are a listening Council and will do our best to help those who need it. Children who normally receive free school meals will be provided with a voucher for the October half-term. This is not a long-term solution, but this is an exceptional year and we know it has been a tough one for many families.

“Since the very start of the pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to support our residents across our borough who have been placed under additional pressure because of Covid.”

During the height of national lockdown, Kensington and Chelsea Council provided a free food delivery service to vulnerable residents who were self-isolating. The Council also supported residents who were shielding, supplementing government food parcels with additional fresh fruit and vegetables. An e-cargo bikes scheme was funded during the height of lockdown to help local voluntary groups and pharmacies get essential food and medicines to people who were shielding.

Funding for the vouchers will come from the Council’s Covid contingency fund in conjunction with the Government grant of £63 million provided to Councils for provisions to help the most vulnerable in our communities.