Released: 17 March, 2021
The 16,000 West Sussex children who receive free school meals will again be given supermarket meal vouchers for the Easter holiday.
West Sussex County Council is providing a £30 voucher for each eligible child for the two-week break. It follows the County Council scheme which ran over the Christmas and February school holidays, taking the total value of supermarket vouchers distributed to free school meal-eligible families by the Council to £1.2m.
The vouchers are again being funded by the government’s Winter Support Grant Scheme, which has been extended to cover Easter, and enables local authorities to give further financial support to those in need during the pandemic.
The West Sussex Community Hub remains open to support families and individuals who are experiencing financial hardship or are in need of supplies, including those not eligible for free school meals.
Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “Around 16,000 children in West Sussex benefit from this voucher scheme so it is welcome news that we are able to extend it over Easter to help families pay for their groceries.
"We know that many people are finding things difficult because of COVID-19 and I would encourage anyone who is struggling to contact the West Sussex Community Hub for support.”
Over Easter a programme of fun activities for all children and their families to enjoy is being run online by the West Sussex Library Service, full details to be announced shortly.
All schoolchildren in England began to return to classrooms from last Monday (8 March) and in West Sussex this continues to be a success. Pupil attendance in all schools increased to 93.2 per cent at the end of last week, higher than both the regional and national average.
The latest guidance for West Sussex parents and pupils, including support services for emotional wellbeing, is available on our COVID-19 school webpages.
People can contact the West Sussex Community Hub online or by calling 0330 222 7980 - help is available seven days a week from 8am-8pm.