a school dinner

Council welcomes free school meals announcement

The County Council has welcomed the Government’s decision to provide free school meals over the holidays. 
It’s been reported that the government is to spend more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England.
The BBC reports that from the package of support, a £170m ring-fenced fund will be distributed through councils, with at least 80% earmarked for help with food and bills. 
Across the country some 1.7 million children are entitled to free school meals (FSM) and during the pandemic this has included children, who through no fault of their own, have found income reduced due to Covid. 
The “winter grant scheme” will receive funding from the beginning of December until the end of March. 
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “This is a very welcome announcement which will provide much-needed extra support to thousands of families in our county. 
We recently expanded the remit of our Members Small Grant Scheme and other grants to enable all county councillors to support local Town and Parish Councils, as well as community groups, with specific grants for Covid related financial support.   
There’s already been good take up of these grants, which will assist recipient organisations to help families who need support, including through food parcels and/or food purchases through the use of vouchers. 
While we await the details of the Government’s package, we look forward to rolling it out as soon as we can to help those most in need in Northumberland.” 
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