Free school lunch vouchers will be provided for the October semester at East Riding


East Riding’s free school lunch families will receive £ 15 vouchers this October semester as the financial hardships they face are “far from over,” the council’s children’s wallet holder said.

Cllr Victoria Aitken, the East Riding Council’s children and youth portfolio holder, said the authority would use its share of a new government support fund to fund the vouchers.

But the wallet added that the vouchers would be sent after the number of locally eligible children fell from 7,757 to 8,275 since last year.

The update came in response to the Chair of the Children and Youth Review Committee, Cllr Ben Weeks, asking the portfolio holder to clarify the support families can expect during this half term.

The council first launched the vouchers last October following a high-profile campaign by England footballer Marcus Rashford.

Cllr Aitken said East Riding received £ 1.175million from the government to fund free school meal payments over the past year.

The government has announced that councils will be able to claim from this month a £ 500million household support fund for residents still struggling following the pandemic.

Cllr Aitken said East Riding hoped to use its share of the funding to help fund free school lunch vouchers during the October semester.

The wallet holder said:

“With the increase in the number of eligible children comes an ongoing financial impact on families that is far from over.

“We are working with our agents to ensure that the board can continue to provide financial support.

“We are committed to helping students move forward The Government Household Support Fund

“We first made the decision to support families with children eligible for free school meals last October.

“We started by making direct payments to these families, a support grant was made available to them for the Christmas and Easter holidays.

“The council continued to support until the May semester, the grants were £ 15 per eligible child and we know they have been of tremendous help to families.

“Payments were made by bank transfer and supermarket vouchers, distributed with the help of schools.

“Eligible families whose children were attending school outside of East Riding were invited to contact our education department directly. “


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