May 19, 2022 6.00 pm

Parents disappointed as free school holiday meals set to end with £95 grant

Scheme running since September 2021

Parents who received free meals during school holidays said they are dismayed with a final one-off grant this summer.

The £95 per child grant aims to cover until September, but will be left to the responsibility of parents to decide when it’s spent.

It is funded by the government’s Household Support Fund, which was launched in September last year and initially covered from October 6 to March 31.

Lincolnshire County Council received £5.5 million of the £500 million pot, distributing around half to schools to provide food/vouchers to eligible families during the school holidays and half to district councils to distribute based on community needs.

However, in March the government announced the scheme would be extended until September and gave a further £5.5 million to LCC.

John O’Connor, head of education support, said: “Again, just over half of this funding is being provided to schools and early years providers to support eligible pupils.

“This time, these families will be provided with a one-off grant that they can use to help with food bills as and when needed.”

“The government has not yet announced whether the HSF will continue beyond September 30 or not.

“However, eligible children will continue to receive free school meals during term time as normal.”

Parents are disappointed that the scheme will be coming to an end, particularly as families, like many, face increases in the cost of living.

One parent told Local Democracy Reporters: “At this point in time there are a lot of people very upset and worried about this.”

Families who signed up to Free School Meals, prior to May 10, will receive £95 per eligible child – however it will be up to each school to decide how to provide the support.

A spokesman for LCC said the authority expected the majority of schools to pass on vouchers.

North Kesteven Academy, for instance, will issue Wonde vouchers to parents with e-codes dropping into email addresses by Monday, May 30.

Some secondary schools, using electronic payment systems, may also credit families direct to their bank account.

Some schools will also provide food parcels.

For more information on free school meals on the LCC website