Northamptonshire County Council FINALLY reveals how to claim half-term school meal vouchers

Schools, governors and most importantly parents and children in Northamptonshire who benefit from the vouchers have been kept in suspense since Sunday as details not made clear soon enough

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 4:00 pm
Hundreds of kind-hearted volunteers have displayed amazing kindness as they put together lunch bags for hungry children this week.

Northamptonshire County Council have today (Tuesday) announced how parents can use free school meal vouchers for their eligible children - two days and two lunch times into half term.

The local authority took to Twitter on Sunday to announce it was going to fund free school meal vouchers over the half-term break, after the Governments controversial vote against it.

Today, two days into half-term, the county council has this afternoon given details of how the scheme will work in practise for the 17,001 children who qualify for free school meals in Northamptonshire, which will cost £255,015 – this equates to £15 per child, per voucher.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The scheme is being delivered using an online platform, which will distribute the vouchers directly to the email addresses of eligible parents.

The email will appear in parents’ inboxes as a message from Northamptonshire County Council.

Those who are eligible but do not receive this email should visit the Northamptonshire County Council website and complete the eligibility form available as directed.

The meals are being funded using the money received from central government and provided to the council for COVID-19-related costs, which includes support for children.

Distribution of the vouchers will only be made to families who have previously applied and have been deemed eligible for free school meals.

Where can the vouchers be used?

The vouchers can be used in the following shops:

- Tesco

- Asda

- Morrisons

- Sainsbury’s

- Waitrose

- Marks & Spencer

- Aldi

- McColl’s

Councillor Matt Golby, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “We have always put the support for vulnerable people, especially children, at the heart of what we do at the County Council.

“I am delighted that the NCC cabinet has agreed to provide free school meal vouchers, using some of the funding the government provided to us.”

England and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been leading a huge campaign to provide 1.4 million English children with £15-a-week food vouchers during the Easter and Summer holidays this year, which was not extended by central Government.

Labour proposed a motion in the House of Commons on Wednesday that the vouchers should continue, which was voted down by 320 Conservative MPs, including all seven Northamptonshire representatives.

Northampton Labour Group said: "The power of the people supporting Marcus Rashford and the outcry against hard-hearted Tory MPs has had a result!! Well done everyone. Now for the Christmas holidays."

Following a public backlash a huge number of businesses and charities have stepped in across the county to offer support to those families who need it the most.

Latest Northamptonshire County Council figures show that the number of children claiming free school meals as of today is 17,001, compared to 13,526 claims as of October 2019, an increase of 23.9%.