NEW: Lambeth will provide Free School Meals vouchers over Half Term and Christmas holidays
Labour-run Lambeth Council has announced this week that it will provide Free School Meal vouchers, distributed via schools in the borough, to more than 10,000 children over the October Half Term and Christmas holidays. The scheme will provide £20 vouchers for each child who accesses Free School Meals for each week of the holiday, and families will be able to use the vouchers towards food and energy bills.
During a mounting cost-of-living crisis, where energy, fuel and food prices are rising and the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit has been cut, and more people are having to rely on food banks, it is vital that we are doing all we can to support hard working families in Lambeth.
Lambeth Council has previously funded Free School Meals over holiday periods during the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating £165,000 to support more than 10,000 children in Lambeth on Free School Meals in the absence of government support. This builds on our work to ensure all children across Lambeth have access to healthy food and activities during school holidays.
Our provision of Free School Meals vouchers is part of our wider ambition as a Labour administration to eliminate poverty in Lambeth. This work has recently seen Lambeth named as the Living Wage Public Sector Champions for supporting key workers in the borough to be lifted out of poverty wages. We’ve also increased the scope for our council tax support scheme – adding £1.5 million of hardship support which will reduce the bills of almost 7000 low-income households eligible for Council Tax Support, with most of those seeing their bill reduced to nil.
Cllr Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:
“The Free School Meals vouchers Lambeth is providing will support families who have less and are experiencing hardship in this cost-of-living crisis to provide their children the nutrition and warmth they need during Half Term and the Christmas Holiday.
“Labour in Lambeth want to make sure that no child goes hungry during the school holidays, and that no families have to make the decision between buying food and paying their energy bills this autumn and winter.
“In the coming weeks Lambeth Council will be leading work on a New child poverty strategy to support even more children get a better start in life.“