The UK government has announced a Covid Summer Food Fund which will be a one-off scheme in response to the unique circumstances many families face during these unprecedented times.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“This is a unique and hugely challenging period, which we know will have a profound impact on people’s lives.
“We are listening to those who need the most help, and taking unprecedented action to make sure no child goes hungry during this period.
“Today we are announcing a new Covid Summer Food Fund which will support children who are eligible for free school meals. This adds to the wide range of support this government has put in place to support families, not just at school but through our welfare system, in funding for local services, and via a new welfare assistance scheme to help those who are struggling.”
- The Covid Summer Food Fund will be a one-off scheme in response to the unique circumstances many families face. There are no plans for the scheme to continue beyond summer, and those eligible will be those already on free school meals.
- The scheme will support children who are eligible for free school meals with a voucher to cover the full six week summer holiday beginning next month, which schools will be able to order before the end of term.
- Vouchers will be provided via the existing system run by Edenred, which will run until the end of the summer term. Schools will be asked to put in orders for support over the summer holiday before the start of the holidays. Guidance for schools will follow shortly.
- Thousands of children will also receive additional support through our Holiday Activities and Food programme, which offers activities and free meals throughout the summer holidays.
- Last week the Prime Minister announced a new welfare assistance scheme for local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to coronavirus.
- DCMS and DEFRA are also providing a grant of up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of coronavirus. The programme will provide millions of meals over a 12-week period and will be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).
- The Government has injected over £6.5bn into the welfare system, including increasing Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by up to £1,040 a year, to help those in most need as well as rolling out income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.