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Parents Urged to Claim Funding for Children Eligible for Free School Meals

Press release from Cornwall Council:

Cornwall Council has started the process of distributing more than £4.5m to help support households who have been hit the hardest by the national cost of living crisis.

The Household Support Fund – made available by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – is aimed primarily at helping families and pensioners who would otherwise struggle with food and energy bills.

It will provide a one-off payment of £100 to around 16,500 pensioners identified as having low incomes and around 15,500 families with children who are eligible for free school meals, who will also receive a one-off payment of £80 per child.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Barbara Ellenbroek, said: “We know this is a change for parents in Cornwall, but we hope that a cash payment will allow families to use this support in the way that best meets their needs.

Since Summer 2020 the government has not funded schools to provide free school meals vouchers during school holiday periods. Instead, many local authorities, including Cornwall Council, have used funding received through a series of government Covid recovery grants to enable schools to provide food vouchers for children during school holidays.

“This scheme is available for all those that have a child or children in Reception to Year 11 who are eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals, and you can claim £80 per child.”

Those that are eligible to apply are urged to visit our specialist web pages to start the application process:

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Dr Andy Virr, said: “The Fund is intended to support households in the most need with rising living costs, including energy, food and water bills.

“In Cornwall we recognise that the current rises to the cost of living are placing an exceptional pressure on everyone, and we aim to use the Household Support Fund to support as many people in our communities as possible.”