Just under 3,000 children in Salford were helped with food over the summer holidays thanks to a pioneering voucher scheme.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett made funds available through the Salford Assist crisis scheme to help ease the financial burden on families whose children normally get free school meals.
It’s the first time the council has run the scheme which offered £30 in shopping vouchers per eligible child – enough to provide a daily lunch of sandwiches, soup and fruit.
Deputy City Mayor Councillor Paula Boshell said:
“We had over 1000 families apply within the first 10 days which shows how valuable schemes like this are. By the end of the holidays we had had just over 2,100 applications covering around 42% of all the children eligible for free school meals.
“Other holiday schemes run by schools and partner organisations which included lunch with their programme served nearly 4,000 meals over the six weeks. It clearly shows the need in the city and my thanks go to all the volunteers who helped support this huge effort.”
The Booth Charities, Salford, made a substantial grant towards Salford City Council’s voucher scheme.
Councillor Boshell said she hoped the council could find funding to repeat the voucher scheme next year.
The Salford Assist scheme www.salford.gov.uk/salfordassist helps people in crisis and signposts them to further help such as debt advice or benefit checks to make sure they are receiving all the money they are entitled to.
Families are also being encouraged to check if they are entitled to free school meals at www.salford.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals