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Free school meals over half-term

Picture of a desk and chairs in a school classroom

Sheffield City Council has pledged to support thousands of children and young people with free school meals during the half-term week.

Vouchers of £15 per child, per week will be provided to all who are eligible for free school meals. This is in line with the proposal that was put forward in parliament this week but rejected by the government.

22,000 children in Sheffield are currently in receipt of free school meals and will receive a voucher meaning the total cost will be £330,000.

The Council will work with schools and communities to administer the programme.

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: 

“Following the decision by Government not to support free school meals over the half term, I feel strongly enough to make sure children and young people in Sheffield don’t go hungry over the holidays 

"As we move into Tier 3, increased numbers of families across the city will be facing financial hardship, especially as we enter the winter months. The vouchers will provide support to people who are most in need and even though the council budget is under massive pressures due to COVID-19, it feels like the right thing to do.

“This is something that should be funded by central government. It should not be down to individual councils creating a postcode lottery for whether children go hungry or not. However, it is clear after what happened this week that the government are willing to stand by and do nothing, as a council we are not.

“No child should go hungry; I hope this support goes someway in stopping that and encourages everyone who needs the help to claim it.”