Council issues more than 7,500 school meals vouchers to Highland families

Highland Council is continuing to provide free school meals through e-vouchers to families across the region while schools are closed.

Over, 7,500 school meals payments of £15 per child per week have been issued to date. This is to help support many families who are experiencing difficulties due to the coronavirus emergency. The Council estimates that to June, 60,000 payments will be issued to eligible families.

This innovative service - which was initially delivered digitally using e-vouchers - will also be available through Co-op card, Post Office PayOut; and Scotmid paper vouchers from next week beginning Monday 27 April.

Families who already receive free school meal provision do not need to apply as the Council will automatically provide payment vouchers to eligible families.

The impact of Coronavirus has caused additional hardship and this process will ensure that the most vulnerable children can get food. Those who have been affected, and haven’t yet claimed, are being encouraged to apply for free school meals as soon as possible on the Council’s website at this link.

Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Budget Leader, said: “The provision of food for many families is vitally important now, more especially than ever. Using feedback from families and staff, our officers have worked very hard to extend the ways in which families can redeem their free school meals vouchers with local retailers Co-op, Post Office and Scotmid across the region. I commend the quick response to extend this important scheme so that it reaches all families including those in rural areas.”

Help and support to apply for free school meals and benefits is available by emailing welfare.support@highland.gov.uk.

A helpline number has also been set up for anyone who is struggling and needing urgent help during this crisis. The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.

22 Apr 2020
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