Food vouchers for Portsmouth children over half-term

FOOD vouchers will be provided to Portsmouth families on the lowest income over the next half-term holiday.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 3:37 pm
Free food vouchers will be provided to eligible children over the May half term. Picture: PA

The city council has confirmed children who are entitled to free school meals during term time will be given a £15 supermarket voucher for the week of May 31 to June 4.

More than 7,000 children will be eligible for the vouchers, which were also provided over Christmas, Easter and other half terms by the local authority after the government decided not to extend its scheme last year.

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Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who was leader of the council’s administration when the scheme was agreed, said: 'We decided that if the government aren't going to feed these children we will provide food vouchers for families.

'We know that the pandemic has hit families on the lowest income hardest and therefore it seems right to continue to support people in this way.'

Alison Jeffrey, the director of children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council, added: 'We're funding supermarket vouchers over the May half-term for children eligible for free school meals, so there will be no break in what's provided for families.

'The vouchers will be for £15 per child.'

Over Easter and Christmas - both two week breaks - the children were provided £30-worth of vouchers.

As reported, the food voucher scheme over Christmas cost the authority around £215,000.

In October last year the Conservative government faced criticism for deciding not to extend free school meals, a campaign that gained nationwide attention after being backed by footballer Marcus Rashford.

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