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Drive to tackle holiday hunger continues over February half-term

More than 15,000 children across Devon will be receiving food vouchers over half-term as Devon County Council combats holiday hunger.

Families of children currently receiving free school meals will automatically be sent supermarket vouchers to help them buy food over the week-long holiday to replace the meals a child would have received during term-time.

The vouchers – worth £15 a week for each child – can be redeemed in major supermarkets across Devon. Arrangements are in place for families who cannot get to a supermarket.

It’s part of a £2 million programme organised by Devon County Council to combat holiday hunger over the Christmas, half-term and Easter breaks.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: 

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on families, particularly the most vulnerable.

“Supporting these families during the holidays with vouchers to replace the free school meals their children receive during term time is a lifeline for many parents and carers and we are working with our schools to make sure nobody misses out.

“In addition to issuing the vouchers to families directly, we’re also working with our Early Help teams, children’s centres, food networks and district councils to help vulnerable families who may not be eligible for free school meals.

“I encourage anyone who is struggling to get in touch, support is available.”

Many families in Devon have seen their financial circumstances change due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. If you didn’t previously qualify for free school meals but your income has recently reduced or stopped, please apply online through the Devon County Council website to check if you are eligible for this support as soon as possible, and before Friday 5 February in order to receive the holiday vouchers for the February half term holiday.

The quickest and easiest way for your eligibility to be assessed is through the Devon County Council website, and you will get an instant decision. Alternatively, contact Devon County Council’s education helpline on 0345 155 1019.

More information about the free school meals holiday voucher scheme is available on Devon County Council’s website.