Children in Medway who receive benefits related free school meals will continue to receive support this half term, and support remains available for all residents facing financial difficulties.
Approximately 11,000 children in Medway currently receive free meals during the school term and they will continue to receive support during the October half term.
Medway Council is using government funding from the Household Support Fund to provide the vouchers.
Schools will give e-vouchers, at the value of £15 per child, per week, to the parents or carers of children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals and the families will choose what supermarket to spend the food voucher in.
Support available for all residents
All residents facing financial difficulties, due to the rise of the cost of living can also apply for help with their household bills through the Household Support Fund. The support on offer includes supermarket and fuel vouchers. Find out more.
Doing everything we can to support families
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “I am pleased that Medway’s most vulnerable children will continue to be supported over the October half term through free school meals vouchers. We know that the school holidays can cause pressures for families on lower incomes and we will continue to do everything we can to support them. Our Public Health team works closely with all families and offers free fun healthy cooking classes. I would encourage residents to use the healthy, and affordable, recipe ideas and use their vouchers to buy ingredients. Find out more about the sessions, and get recipe ideas.”
Ensuring no child goes hungry this half term
Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Leader Member for Children’s Services, said: “We understand that the rise in the cost of living may place additional financial pressure on some families, and I am pleased that we are using government funding to ensure no child goes hungry this half term. We also recognise that there are many families who might not be eligible for free school meals but are also facing financial difficulties, and I am pleased we continue to offer support with food and fuel bills through government grants. I would encourage anyone concerned about the cost of living to find out more details about the support available by visiting medway.gov.uk/householdhelp.
“In addition to the support for children eligible for school meals, there are plenty of free and low-cost activities for all Medway families to enjoy over half term. Visit our heritage attractions and take part in our Halloween trails to collect badges, there will be free workshops in Medway’s libraries as well as a screening of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I would encourage residents to find out more and have a spooktacular half term.”
What’s on in October half term for all children
Children can create their own trick-or-treat goblets at the Pentagon Shopping Centre on Thursday, 27 October, between 11am and 4pm. This free event is being delivered by the Pentagon Shopping Centre in partnership with Child Friendly Medway. Spaces are limited. Find out more.
Spooky activities and a cinema screening of Roald Dahl’s 'The Witches' (PG) will take place at the Glassbox Theatre in Gillingham on Monday, 24 October between 1pm and 4pm. Fun for all the family, with fancy dress encouraged. Limited spaces available. Book your place.
Medway’s libraries will also be hosting a range of Halloween themed stories and craft sessions throughout the October half term. Find out more and book your session.
Medway’s sports centres will also be hosting popular inflatable pool session at Strood and Hoo Sports Centres. Costs £7 per person or £24 for a family ticket. Find out more and book.
A Halloween pool party, with spooky music, games and prizes, will be held at Strood Sports Centre on Friday, 28 October between 4pm and 6pm. Costs £8 per adult and £6.50 for children. Under threes go free.
Child Friendly Medway and Medway Sport also offer weekly floodlit drop-in football sessions at Watling Park, Gillingham, Strood Sports Centre and Hook Meadow Walderslade. For more information, email email@example.com.