Sunday, 25 October 2020 22:16

Council caves in to pressure to provide free meals for vulnerable children in Wiltshire during holidays Featured

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VULNERABLE children will benefit from free meals during October half-term after Wiltshire Council agreed to ensure families struggling with food poverty in the county are supported.

The council has caved in following pressure from the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party councillors who had urged the Tory-controlled council to provide the meals.

Cllr Laura Mayes, the council's cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “We know that many families are feeling the financial pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to do all we can to support them.

“We want to ensure that children do not go hungry during these school holidays and want to ensure that Wiltshire families know that they will be supported during these difficult times by putting these measures in place.

"Therefore the council will be funding free meals during the October half term. This will be reviewed throughout the pandemic and we will continue to make sure that any child and family who needs help gets it.

"As we have done throughout, we will continue to work with our partners in the community and voluntary sector to make sure the needs of our residents are met at this unprecedented time.

"The work of our community groups has been, and continues to be, amazing and I must thank them for their tremendous support throughout the pandemic.

“If you are entitled to free school meals or universal credit and struggling to pay for food over half term, please contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub for support.

“Everyone in Wiltshire needs to play their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We ask that people regularly wash hands, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate. This is the best way to keep us all safe as much as possible, and helps to prevent the spread of the virus."

For more information on how to claim, contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub Team on wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 0300 003 4576. The team is available Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.

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