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Highland Council to provide school meals throughout Easter holidays

By Andrew Dixon

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Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout what would have been the school Easter break.

It is being done to recognise the difficulties some families may be experiencing due to the coronavirus emergency.

A council spokeswoman said: "This innovative and easy-to-use service is being delivered digitally through the use of e-vouchers which will ensure over 4000 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."

The council continues to investigate other ways of providing food across the Highlands for vulnerable groups. This includes working closely with High Life Highland, Eden Court and its other partners.

Council budget leader Alister Mackinnon said: “The provision of food for many families is vitally important. 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.”

Support to apply for free school meals and benefits is available by emailing welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

A helpline number has also been set up for anyone who is struggling and needing urgent help during the coronavirus crisis: 0300 303 1362. Calls are free and it operates from Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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