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Free school meals to roll out over Christmas

Credit: Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire is set to use its share of the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.

A total of £360,000 is set to be ploughed into extending free school meal vouchers over Christmas – and up to £1 million until April, Leicestershire County Council has confirmed.

The council says the move is designed to offer a helping hand to families facing financial difficulties and means that a system can be put in place to deliver the vouchers ahead of the festive period. 

The council had already committed to funding the extension but is now able to use its share of the £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme announced by the Government last weekend.

Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council said: "Children should not go hungry. And I’m pleased we stepped up to the plate quickly. 

"I welcome the announcement from Government that they will support local authorities, such as ourselves, with the new grant scheme.  We’ve had to make a lot of tough choices recently and this helps to ease the pressure a little bit.

"Unemployment is rising and the pandemic is making life extremely hard for many people. This is a case of doing the right thing and we’re committed to supporting the county through these trying times."
The plan will be discussed by the council’s cabinet next Friday (20 November) and if approved, the scheme will be put in place ahead of the end of term in December. 

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