As the school holidays will soon upon us, parents in some households will be feeling the pinch more than others when it comes to feeding their youngsters, so with that in mind parents of Salford children who get free school meals are being offered shopping vouchers to help towards the cost of food during the six week summer holidays.
The £30 grocery vouchers will be made available to those eligible through the City Mayor’s Salford Assist programme, designed to help people facing a crisis or emergency.
Around 8,500 children qualify for free school meals in Salford and the council expects to spend up to £150,000 on the scheme. The Booth Charities, Salford, made a significant grant to support the scheme.
The council, Salford Community Leisure, local schools and community groups are also drawing up a menu of healthy holiday activities, which include free healthy snacks and lunches.
Deputy City Mayor Councillor Paula Boshell said:
“Free school meals guarantee children a healthy, nutritionally balanced meal every day and some parents may struggle to find extra cash for lunches during the holidays.
“Council budgets are tight but we want to offer those most in need some support to help them through the long summer break. The vouchers are enough to provide a daily lunch of sandwiches, soup and a piece of fruit for each child.
“We’re very grateful to the Booth Charities for their generous support of the scheme.”
Parents of children in reception classes and primary school years one and two will need to claim certain benefits to qualify for the food shopping vouchers. Parents of older children who receive free school meals will automatically qualify.
Families who do not qualify for the free school meal shopping voucher scheme and need short term support to meet basic needs such as baby items, food, gas or electricity or essential furniture may be able to get help from Salford Assist. The scheme can also refer people for help with debt, affordable loans and affordable energy. Last year the scheme helped just under 4,000 Salford residents.
For details of the holiday voucher scheme please see: www.salford.gov.uk/healthyholidays
For details of Salford Assist please see www.salford.gov.uk/salfordassist