Following the Government’s u-turn on providing free food vouchers for children during the summer holidays, BCP Council has provided advice for parents looking to claim the vouchers for their children, and how to access food for yourself if you’re struggling.
Marcus Rashford’s campaign to make sure all children across the UK are fed this summer is unlikely to have passed anyone by. His letter to Parliament, written after the decision was announced to stop the weekly food vouchers at the end of the school summer term, was an impassioned cry for help on behalf of the families living in poverty – 3 in 10, according to the Department for Home and Pensions, and a shocking 45% of these are believed to be children from Black and minority ethnic groups.
With the lockdown forcing so many wage-earners into furlough or redundancy, the situation has become even more challenging for those families living in poverty. Now the Government has reversed their decision, BCP Council has issued advice for those wishing to claim the vouchers for their children.
If your child is already registered with their school as eligible for school meals, you don’t need to do anything. The vouchers will continue to reach you in the normal fashion. However, if you did not previously claim the vouchers and now believe you may now be eligible, you need to contact your child’s school as soon as possible. You may be eligible if you are currently claiming:
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on
- Universal Tax Credit
For adults who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, there are a number of options available, from the NHS Healthy Start Scheme, which provides food vouchers for fresh food for those on certain types of benefits, to foodbanks. There is also help available for those who are registered as clinically extremely vulnerable, or who are self-isolating, such as volunteer shopping cards and vouchers. For more information on any of these schemes, and to make sure your family doesn’t go hungry this summer, visit the BCP website.