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Council supports thousands of children with free school meals and holiday activities this Easter

School dining room

We have announced that we will support thousands of children and young people with free food vouchers and healthy holiday activities during the Easter holidays.

As part of our Covid-19 emergency response, we have provided food vouchers to families during the October, Christmas, and February holidays. We recognise that many families continue to face financial difficulties because of the pandemic and in response we have committed to also provide vouchers for the children who are eligible for free school meals and those who access social care or MAST, or get income assessed Early Years support over the upcoming Easter holidays.

Families of 31,500 children in Sheffield will be receiving vouchers of £30 per child via a letter sent out next week with details enclosed on how and where to redeem the voucher. Families must activate their code within 3 months, or it will expire. Once the voucher has been claimed it will be valid for 12 months.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Leader of Sheffield City Council said, "It is fantastic news that we are able to offer food vouchers once again to families who need it most. These last 12 months have been hugely difficult for everyone, especially families facing financial hardship. Although we are beginning to see a roadmap out of the current pandemic, we know that many families need this provision to continue at the moment. These vouchers will provide support to families so that they can enjoy quality time together this Easter without having to worry about where their child’s next meal is coming from. I encourage everyone who receives a voucher to claim it.”

Councillor Abtisam Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said, "The pandemic has brought about an unprecedented set of circumstances and challenges for many families in Sheffield.

"Over the last year these food vouchers have taken some of the burden from our families and I’m delighted that we can continue this support during the Easter holidays.

"It is vital that children and young people in Sheffield don’t go hungry over the holidays and we, as a council, are committed to doing all that we can to make sure that this doesn’t happen."

Alongside providing food vouchers, there will also be a range of free holiday activities available for children and families to take part in as part of the Sheffield Healthy Holidays scheme.

The aim of Sheffield Healthy Holidays is to make sure that children are happy and healthy during the school holidays. School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs such as food and childcare, and reduced incomes. For some children from our more disadvantaged families this can lead to them being less likely to access organised out-of-school activities and encounter social isolation.

Sheffield Healthy Holidays brings together a programme of activities with partners across Sheffield that can be enjoyed at home or taken outdoors in the local area, such as this year’s online Easter Egg Hunt. More information and how to take part can be found on the Sheffield Healthy Holidays Website here.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said, “I am really pleased that Sheffield Healthy Holiday scheme is back for the Easter break. After the year we’ve all had and the recent return to schools again, I hope it will provide a much-welcomed opportunity for families to bond over healthy food and enriching activities. The website has a range of great ideas to suit everyone so please do take a look and get involved.

"We also have exciting plans to expand this programme for the summer so that more of our families have access to fun activities and good food during the school holidays.”

If you have difficulty accessing the e-voucher website or don’t have access to a computer, please contact your school for help in the first instance. You can also contact the Sheffield City Council Helpline on 0114 2734567, option 4, then option 3.