ISLE OF WIGHT CHILDREN WILL NOT GO HUNGRY THIS HALF-TERM SAYS COUNCIL

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The Isle of Wight Council has confirmed that vulnerable children and those eligible for free school meals will not go hungry during the February half-term as funding has been provided for food vouchers for families.

Part of the council’s connect4communities programme, the school holiday food voucher scheme aims to help those facing hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been funded from the £456,845 COVID Winter Grant Scheme allocation, awarded to the authority by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said the scheme supported an estimated 5,590 children on the Island. He said:

“No child will go hungry.

“In November, through our connect4communities programme, we made arrangements to ensure funding was distributed to schools for them to supply food vouchers to the families of eligible children for the two-week Christmas school holidays and February half-term.

“On behalf of council, can I reiterate out grateful thanks for the role that childminders, early years providers, schools and colleges have played in ensuring food vouchers reach eligible families – without their support to purchase and distribute the vouchers, we would not have managed this enormous task so successfully.”

Schools hold the budgets for the provision of free school meals during term time and have been making local arrangements to ensure those who are on benefits related free school meals entitlement and who are not in school are provided with a food parcel or vouchers while they are learning remotely.

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Ahead of the February half-term holiday, the connect4communities programme has provided further funding to schools, colleges and early years providers to supply each eligible household a £15 voucher for each child. In line with the DWP’s funding criteria, food vouchers will be given to:

• all families whose children are eligible for benefits related free school meals;
• children being supported by a social worker;
• children receiving early help services from the council’s Family Support Service;
• 2 to 4-year-olds accessing childcare and eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium;
• 16 to 18-year-olds who were previously eligible for free school meals.

Further support was put in place for families over the winter season, with each school being provided with a Discretionary Grant Fund.

Schools have the flexibility to use this grant funding to help support families who may not be immediately eligible for other benefits but find themselves struggling financially; for example, where a parent has lost their job due to COVID-19.

The money can be used to help families with food and other essential items, such as energy cards/tokens to pay fuel bills. However, in accordance with the DWP Winter Grant Fund criteria, this discretionary allowance cannot be used by schools to supplement term time free school meals.

Additionally, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has also been awarded funding by the council to support families who are experiencing financial hardship and can provide information and advice on the wider range of available support. Call their adviceline on 0800 144 88 48 (open 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday).

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Zorbeck
Zorbeck
29 days ago

Whilst those working hard on low wages, have to pay all their rent, or mortgage, fuel bills and feed the children which they chose to bring into their world. Wouldn’t be so bad but they have had rent holidays, IF they ever paid rent, as oft it is subsidised as is c.tax, they have had an extra thousand on top of thousands per annum tax credits of over five thousand per child, they get £20 p w per child family allowance and IF you took their essential outgoings with all this in mind, then most could easily afford to feed what they chose to have. Easier to whinge, play the hard luck story, and watch those who then feel elevated in scurrying around to feed the next generation who they will be slating as they grow up as misguided as their parents and breed from puberty upward to ensure the… Read more »

J D
J D
Reply to  Zorbeck
29 days ago

what a disgusting comment.
There are nurses fighting to save people from covid who dont get paid enough to feed their families. There are people from all walks of life.
For you to come out with this Nazi crap is vile.

freeloaders
freeloaders
Reply to  J D
28 days ago

utter crap JD – talking out of your backside again.

J D
J D
Reply to  freeloaders
27 days ago

No not crap. Go crawl back under your bridge troll.

Treesa
Treesa
Reply to  J D
25 days ago

Absolutely agree with you JD.

J D
J D
29 days ago

Utterly disgusting that government and foodbanks has to step in to feed children whos parents cannot afford it themselves.

Simple solution – set a minimum wage as a percentage of the highest wage in any organisation. If the CEO makes £100,000 a year, set the lowest wage in the company at £25,000 per year, even if it is pro-rata at an equivilent hourly rate.
CEO gets a bonus – All get a bonus, on the basis that the CEO wouldnt get a bonus without the efforts of the people under them.
Create a situation where no parent will ever have to choose between feeding their child or going cap in hand to foodbanks.

freeloaders
freeloaders
Reply to  J D
28 days ago

What is utterly disgusting, is the rest of us expected to pay more tax, just to feed and clothe some f^^^ing leeches kids.

J D
J D
Reply to  freeloaders
27 days ago

You are utter scum.

Blim
Blim
Reply to  J D
27 days ago

No need for rudeness, as it only makes you look ignorant, use words to defend your view, IF you can, which you can’t here.

Gullible Islander
Gullible Islander
29 days ago

No wonder our council tax is going up.
Food vouchers, laptops, additional covid c/tax relief and heating allowance, sadly being paid for by the hard working tax payer yet again.
My grandfather and all those who gave their lives for this country would be turning in their graves to see what a lightweight, sponging, pot smoking, breeding nation we have become.

Treesa
Treesa
25 days ago

Those biscuits don’t look very healthy.

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