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Free school meals in holidays offer for Highland kids is extended into 2021

By Alasdair Fraser

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School meals
School meals

Pupils in the Highlands entitled to free school meals are set to receive food support in holiday periods through to Easter 2021.

Eligible primary and secondary school kids will be given vouchers for meals for the coming Christmas, February and Easter breaks, as well as the recent October holidays.

The announcement follows recent confirmation by the Scottish Government that the food support would be kept in place into next year.

Councillor John Finlayson, chair of Highland Council’s education committee, said: “Highland welcomes the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Shirley-Ann Somerville MSP.

“(It) will provide much-needed support to our more vulnerable families in need during these difficult coronavirus times.

“This announcement I am sure will be of great relief to young people, parents and guardians and it builds on the support that has already been in place in Highland in recent times.”

In Highland, primary one to three pupils who are entitled to the school clothing grant and P4–S6 pupils who are eligible for free school meals will each receive the equivalent of £3 per day.

It will be paid using the same voucher systems that were deployed during the summer months.

A council spokesperson said: “Parents and carers are reminded to quickly update their child’s school as and when they change their contact details in order to ensure they receive these vouchers when they are being made.

“The Council’s Welfare Resilience Team is working at pace to issue these vouchers for the October period.

“Parents and carers whose children are currently receiving free school meals (P4-S6) and school clothing grants (P1-3) are therefore asked not to contact the council to enquire about payment dates as this will enable vouchers to be issued as quickly as possible.

“All lower income families who haven’t already claimed free school meals and school clothing grants are encouraged to do so as quickly as possible by contacting the council’s welfare support team by email at welfare.support@highland.gov.uk or by telephone.”

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