Free School meals continue for those learning at home
January 15, 2021
Schoolchildren in receipt of free school meals are continuing to receive support whilst learning at home and in school.
Northumberland County Council is continuing to use the arrangements it had in place for the Christmas break following its success in ensuring all 9,500 eligible children received much-needed food over the school holiday period.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services said: “The arrangements that continue to be in place via the online platform ensures our most vulnerable families and those who rely on school meals continue to be supported whether they are learning from home or within school.
We know how difficult a time this is for many and we hope this provides some relief to those families.”
The online platform continues to be managed by the council for all schools in Northumberland including academies, but the arrangements that schools have in place may differ:
- 5% of schools already have alternative local arrangements in place.
- The additional 95% of schools will be supported by arrangements the council have in place via Huggg – an online platform which allows parents to download a supermarket voucher, giving them the choice where they would like to shop. There are nine supermarkets to choose from and the vouchers are flexible so parents can choose to use them every day or weekly. Vouchers can be accessed via email or phone, and for those who do not have access via this option can ask their school to print off the vouchers in advance.
Cath McEvoy Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s services said: “It is really important that those who receive free school meals currently, liaise directly with their school to see which arrangement it has in place for them if they are unsure.
If you are not in receipt of Free School Meals but think you may be eligible, I strongly encourage you to apply.”
If you’re not eligible and feeling financial pressures our Northumberland Communities Together Team can offer support. They can be contacted by Phone: 01670 620015 between 9am to 6pm, seven days a week or Email: NCT@northumberland.gov.
“Should you find yourself in a position where you do need this additional support please do make sure you get in touch with them.” Cath added.
Parents or carers with children not currently educated in mainstream schools, academies or special schools in Northumberland will be contacted separately about provision of Free School Meals.