Published: Friday, 23rd October 2020

Medway children eligible for free school meals will continue to receive support during half-term.  

Approximately 6,000 children in Medway currently access free meals during the school term, and thanks to an initiative by Medway Council and Citizens Advice Medway, children will be supplied with meals over the half-term holidays. 

Medway Council was awarded a one-off payment through the government’s Emergency Assistance Grant to provide residents, who are struggling financially, with food and other essential items they need. Citizens Advice Medway is continuing to manage the grant on behalf of the council and as part of its existing contract through the Local Welfare Provision scheme.  

The independent charity is using the Emergency Assistance Grant to provide free school meals to families during October half-term. Families who contact Citizens Advice Medway will be provided information on how they can access free lunches for eligible children during the week.   

Medway Council has contacted schools across Medway and asked them to share details of the initiative with parents and carers.  

Supporting Medway's most vulnerable children

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We are committed to supporting Medway’s most vulnerable children, especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has caused further financial pressures for some families. It is important children and families continue to receive the support they need and deserve in these challenging times. We are therefore pleased to be working with Citizens Advice Medway to ensure no child goes hungry this half-term. I would like to thank the local charity for their ongoing work to support Medway’s residents.”  

Children are at the heart of everything we do

Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, said: “Children are at the heart of everything we do and I am pleased that we will be continuing to offer free school meal provision for children during half term. I would encourage families whose children are eligible to contact Citizens Advice Medway for more information. We are committed to ensuring all children in Medway receive the best start in life.”  

Providing food and vouchers to eligible vulnerable families 

Citizens Advice Medway CEO, Dan McDonald  said: “Those who rely on Free School Meals are facing a desperate struggle this school break in light of the Government decision not to provide food for children who rely on Free School Meals over the next fortnight. Citizens Advice Medway will be providing food and vouchers to eligible vulnerable families over the next two weeks. 

“Citizens Advice Medway are proud to be able to take the lead in this important project and work in close partnership with Medway Council. Both the leader of the Council and I recognise the need to work with and support the most vulnerable families in the Medway Towns during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We already have a close relationship with Medway Council as we deliver the Emergency Support Grant and look forward to taking our relationship further.” 

If your child is eligible and you would like to access the free school meals being offered in Medway during autumn half-term, please contact Citizens Advice Medway by calling 01634 383760 or emailing schoolmeals@medwayadvice.org.uk.

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