Free school meals scheme covers half term break

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Thousands of Wandsworth schoolchildren have continued to receive free meals this week, ensuring they are able to enjoy a daily nutritious lunch during the Autumn half term break.

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Families eligible for the scheme have been provided with supermarket food vouchers to replace free school meals.

The vouchers can be downloaded from a dedicated app and exchanged for food at the supermarket of their choice.

Providing vouchers to cover the half term holiday is just one of the ways the council is helping local families during the cost-of-living crisis.

Funding totalling more than £5m has been set aside to support a range of local organisations, projects and initiatives all designed to give residents more support during these difficult times, with a strong emphasis on partnership working across all of our communities.

This includes:

• £185k for the Wandsworth Citizen’s Advice Bureau to employ more advisors
• £1m being given to The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund
• All eligible households getting a one-off Winter Cost of Living Payment of up to £150

Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “The new Council administration is absolutely committed to making sure it does everything possible to help people through this winter and beyond. We are not prepared to let anyone fall through the cracks.

“We have set aside this money to work with our partners and local charities to help provide the best support we can for those people who are struggling as a result of this cost-of-living crisis. This includes an additional £1m being given to The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund which will go straight into the pockets of our most vulnerable residents.”

The extra £1m for the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund will provide additional assistance to the borough’s most vulnerable residents by providing crisis payments such as food vouchers and fuel grants, as well as community care grants to support vulnerable households.

Further money will be channelled into supporting businesses, health initiatives, housing support, employment, and financial schemes.

The Council has already announced a range of initiatives to help struggling families like the new School Uniform Support Scheme which means hard pressed households will not have to pay for costly school uniforms when their children transition to their next school. More than one thousand families are benefiting from this scheme.

An online Cost-of-Living Hub has also been put together on its website including details on grants to help with fuel bills, advice on reducing bills, information on benefits and what to do in a crisis, help available for families, where to get mental health support and links to community organisations and charities that can help.

To support this work the Council will also be convening a Cost-of-Living Commission to hear from residents about how their lives are being impacted and help shape what further action can be taken to support them.