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Norfolk County Council announces half-term food voucher support programme

Norfolk County Council has today announced plans to provide vouchers during next week's half-term for families whose children receive free school meals.

County Hall officials say they are using "one-off" Government funding to provide the support, which is worth £15 per child per week.

The issue provoked a major political row last summer when Ministers initially refused to provide holiday help, only to then back down following a high-profile campaign led by the footballer Marcus Rashford.

Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)
Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)

John Fisher, the authority's cabinet member for children's services, said today: “I am very pleased that we’ve been able to play our part in making sure children who need them are able to access food vouchers for the coming half term holiday.

“Times continue to be tough for many families facing financial hardship both in Norfolk and across the country.

“It’s extremely important to provide this vital support to some of our most vulnerable families to help relieve the worry for parents about where their children’s next meal is coming from during this challenging period.”

Children are deemed to be eligible for the vouchers if their family receives any of the following benefits:

Universal Credit - with an annual earned income of no more than £7,400 after tax

Income Support

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The guaranteed element of Pension Credit

Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190.

However, the scheme does not cover pupils in infant year groups who are covered by the Universal Infant Free School Meals programme.

Schools can order the food vouchers for pupils online, which can then be redeemed using an online code. Families can also receive a printed voucher by post, collection or delivery if they don’t have internet access.

Parents are also being encouraged to check if their own schools are offering additional support.

For more information, or to apply for free school meals, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools/school-meals-and-milk.

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