Home Children and Young People COVID-19 Local Support Grant funds another round of Free School Meals
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COVID-19 Local Support Grant funds another round of Free School Meals

by Jonathan Kearney

Throughout the pandemic, children and families across Knowsley have been supported for a variety of needs.

From schools remaining open during lockdowns for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, providing children with equipment to ensure they could continue with their learning from home and providing Free School Meals to eligible children (those that have been means tested) are just a few examples.

The Council has secured further funding from the Government, totalling £0.174m, under the COVID-19 Local support Grant, and this latest funding needs to be spent by 20 June 2021.

The majority of this latest allocation (£0.145m) will be used to further fund School Meals for eligible pupils during the Spring 2021 half term.

This latest funding will provide free school meals for 8,000 pupils across the Borough.

The remaining balance of £0.029m will further support residents through the Children’s Social Care and Family First Hardship Fund and the Council’s Emergency Hardship Fund.

Once the Government funding comes to an end on 20 June 2021, eligible pupils will continue to be able to access free school meals during term-time only – as per the original arrangement prior to the pandemic.

Cllr Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “As you know, we lobbied the Government at the beginning of the pandemic to do the right thing and fund school meals for eligible children.

I’m pleased that they listened and they did fund school meals for those families that needed support the most.

Whilst we are now slowly recovering from the pandemic, the Government has provided a further allocation of funding to support our children and families over the Spring school holidays.

I know it is appreciated by those families that are eligible and hopefully now, we can continue to progress through the Government’s roadmap to recovery and back to some kind of normality.”