Families whose children are eligible for benefit related free school meals will be provided with supermarket vouchers worth £20 to cover the upcoming half-term school holiday by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
From Friday May 21, eligible families who received vouchers from the council’s free school meals scheme during the Easter holidays will automatically receive an email. Once they confirm they would like a £20 voucher per child, a further email will be sent containing the supermarket voucher codes.
New applications from families who haven’t claimed the vouchers before can also be made online from 21 May. Families who have previously received vouchers should not reapply as it could cause a delay in them receiving their vouchers.
Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “Although we are out of lockdown and restrictions are being lifted many families are still having to cope with financial pressures caused by the pandemic. It’s important to support them at a time when they might otherwise struggle to put food on the table.”
During the Easter holidays, the council issued 3,989 vouchers to families in B&NES.
The electronic vouchers can be spent in a range of supermarkets and are available to the families of pupils entitled to benefit-related free school meals, as well as parents who receive free childcare for two-year-olds.
The scheme is part of a wide range of community support available across Bath & North East Somerset for vulnerable families, including FOOD clubs, food banks, welfare and financial support:
- The Welfare Support team can offer short-term, financial crisis support and are contactable on 01225 477 277 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Anyone in need of support around health and wellbeing, food, money, debt, mental health, housing or employment is encouraged to contact the Community Wellbeing Hub, by calling 0300 247 0050 or email at BATHNES.email@example.com, where you will be connected to a wide range of support under one roof. The Hub is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
- Anyone finding it hard to stay afloat on their food budget can contact their nearest FOOD Club or Pantry for an affordable way to supplement a weekly shop. Details can be found on the BANES Foodfinder at www.banesfoodfinder.org.uk/listing/food-clubs-pantries
- Details of food banks across BANES are also on that link and they can tell you how to access a voucher to meet more urgent need.
- A searchable and comprehensive online listing of a wide range of community support across BANES can be found on the One Big Database at www.bathnes1bd.org.uk