Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout the school Easter break. This is to recognise the particular difficulties many families will be experiencing due to the Coronavirus emergency.
This innovative and easy-to-use service is being delivered digitally through the use of e-vouchers which will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed. Families who are already receiving free school meal provision do not need to apply as the Council will automatically provide barcoded e-vouchers to eligible families.
The impact of Coronavirus has caused additional hardship and this process will ensure that the most vulnerable children can get food. Those who have been impacted, and haven’t yet claimed free school meals, are being encouraged to apply for free school meals as soon as possible on the Council’s website at this link. This will enable these families to benefit from school meal provision through the Council’s e-voucher scheme. Arrangements are also in place to support vulnerable families who are receiving free school meals.
Highland Council continues to investigate other ways of providing food across the Highlands for vulnerable groups within the rapidly changing environment. This includes working closely with High Life Highland, Eden Court and our many partners including the Third Sector.
Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Budget Leader, said: “The provision of food for many families is vitally important now, more especially than ever. We have taken the decision to continue the provision over the Easter fortnight to make sure children and families have what they need”.
“The e-vouchers can be used in various supermarkets and staff are working really hard to extend this important scheme so that it reaches all families, especially those who live rurally, recognising that transport is not easy at the present time”.
Help and support to apply for free school meals and benefits is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A helpline number has also been set up for anyone who is struggling and needing urgent help during this crisis. The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.