Free school meals for Rother Valley youngsters over summer holidays

Youngsters in Rother Valley will not go hungry during the summer holidays thanks to an extension of the free school meals scheme.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 10th July 2021, 7:00 pm

Rotherham Council will provide £90 supermarket vouchers for each child to cover the six-week break – roughly equivalent to the cost of providing a child with a free meal at school.

The food vouchers can be redeemed at local supermarkets and will be provided to 10,802 pupils from 119 schools across the borough, totalling £970,785 in funding, as two schools are closing for five weeks only.

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The free school meal scheme has been extended in Rotherham over the summer holidays.

RMBC has provided the vouchers using the government’s covid local support grant.

Councillor Victoria Cusworth cabinet member for children and young people, said: “As the number families relying on low incomes continues to rise, we are stepping up our efforts to make sure that nobody in the borough will go hungry.

“The Covid pandemic made it extremely difficult for some families to make ends meet and we want to do as much as we can to help them.

“The council first stepped in last October to provide food vouchers to local children during the school holidays when the Government failed to provide the support needed, and we are glad to be able to put the current funding to such an important purpose.

“Once again, we are extremely grateful to schools for helping to get this support to the families that most need it.

“We will keep pressure on the Government to ensure these are permanent arrangements in the future and, earlier this year, the council adopted a motion which calls for the right to food to be incorporated into the national food strategy – enshrining in law that nobody in this country should go hungry.”