Somerset County Council have announced a £1million support package to support Somerset families in need with food this winter.
Somerset County Council, the District Councils and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group have been busy working with partners to ensure a robust system is in place so that help can be directed where it is needed.
All schools in Somerset will be provided with £30 for every child who receives free school meals for the Christmas Holidays and £15 for February half term. Schools will use this funding to provide vouchers or food and will contact their families accordingly.
As well as this, a fund has been established so that schools can bid for money to set up new breakfast and after-school clubs or expand their existing ones. There is also an option to bid for funds towards new community food projects, such as setting up a community larder or an allotment scheme.
In line with national policy, from Easter 2021 the Free School Meals vouchers programme will be replaced with the new Holiday Activities and Food programme. Before Christmas, Somerset County Council will be writing to schools to ask if they would like to bid for funding to host or run holiday activities with food for children eligible for free school meals.
Families with children under 4 on low income may be able to claim Healthy Start Vouchers which gives parents £3.10 per week to help buy healthy food, vitamins and milk. Families with children 16-18 not in education, employment or training can also have help over Christmas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking ahead to next year there is grant funding available to provide activities and food to children and young people on Free School Meals.
So if you know a community organisation planning holiday activities for children and young people during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays in 2021 then join Somerset County Council for an online event on 15th December 2020 10-11am. There is no need to register just join the live event.