Thousands of children and young people to benefit from free school meal vouchers this summer

School dinner

Bedford Borough Council has confirmed it is providing free school meal vouchers to parents of children and young people in the Borough throughout the summer holidays.

Families in the Borough that receive income-related free school meals will be eligible for a £15 voucher per week each, for the full six weeks.

To date, over a third of a million pounds worth of vouchers have been directly issued to parents of 6,609 eligible children and young people to help with the cost of shopping for food.

The free school meals food vouchers scheme is part of the package of support launched by Bedford Borough Council and voluntary sector partners earlier in the school year for families and households.

Children are eligible for the vouchers if their family receives one of the benefits listed below:

  • Universal Credit – with an annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190

Cllr Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance said: “Once again I am delighted to say we will be continuing our support for children, young people and families in Bedford Borough by providing supermarket vouchers to those in need.

“We know free school meals are a welcome lifeline to many families, so it was an easy decision to once again provide vouchers for all eligible families during the holidays.

“Many families continue to struggle and I hope that by issuing these vouchers families can focus on enjoying the break, rather than worrying about where their children’s next meal is coming from.”

The Council and Bedford Borough schools are encouraging more families to register and apply for free school meals, so that they begin to receive the support they need.

You can find out here if you are eligible, and to register for free school meals.

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