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Feeding the county - food hampers sent to children who receive free school meals

Published
01.04.2020

Gloucestershire County Council and their Free School Meals partner, Caterlink, are making sure children who are in isolation do not go without their Free School Meals.

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From this week (w/c Monday 30 March) children who receive Free School Meals will get a hamper with ten days of food inside as well as children’s packed lunches. The hamper comes with recipe cards so parents can cook with their children during this period of distancing.

The Department for Education (DfE) have today announced additional funding for a supermarket voucher scheme, which will help schools to support families where they are not able to get Free School Meals to children through the council and Caterlink. The DfE scheme means schools can provide eligible families with supermarket vouchers for term time weeks, worth £3 per lunch per child.

Belmont School in Cheltenham have already signed up for 78 hampers which will be delivered to families homes.

Head Teacher Kevin Day, said, “We have linked up with all our families now who receive Free School Meals and they are very grateful to hear we are working together on food hampers. I’m very grateful for the council’s support.”

Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for school support, said, “We are committed to supporting families as much as possible during these unprecedented times and the Free School Meals scheme is there to make sure children don’t go without. Working with schools and our catering partner we will be able to get food out to children and families who need it.”

The council started delivering packed lunches on 23 March, delivering around 2000 packed lunches a day to children in the county. From this week, the hampers will help feed the rest of their families too with Caterlink receiving orders for over 1600 hampers during the last three days alone.

Around 7000 children in Gloucestershire receive Free School Meals. Children who are at school because their parents or carers are key workers are still getting lunches. Food deliveries to children who receive free school meals will continue during the Easter holidays.

More information about Free School Meals can be found on our schools frequently asked questions webpage.

Download a recipe card here.

Hampers and packed lunches will be delivered to schools, with schools then completing distribution to households. Schools will be in touch with parents to arrange delivery or collection.

If your household income has changed recently you can check if your child is now eligible for Free School Meals. Please visit our website at where you can apply on line and you will receive an instant decision on your eligibility.

Please be aware of scam emails about Free School Meals – the Department for Education have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.  This is a scam email and is not official. If you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately. Schools will contact parents directly.

 

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