Dudley Council
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Support to families in need of free school meals

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Dudley Council’s children’s services boss has vowed to continue to support families in need of free school meals during this latest period of national lockdown.

Schools have been closed to a majority of pupils since Christmas and Dudley Council has been working with schools to ensure those eligible for means-tested free school meals receive either a food parcel or vouchers.

In the first two weeks of term a small number of schools chose to offer food hampers while a majority of schools provided families with vouchers.

For the next two weeks, the 70 schools in the borough which ordinarily receive their food via the council’s in-house catering service, will provide families with a fortnight’s worth of food for lunchtime meals.

This food had already been ordered and the council is keen to ensure there is no unnecessary food waste.

The remaining schools can choose to offer food hampers or vouchers for the next two weeks and this will be the case for all schools from February 1.

A typical fortnightly food hamper for one child, provided by the council, will include items such as a loaf of bread, pasta sauce, six jacket potatoes, a 500g bag of pasta, six eggs, milk, portions of cheese and butter, ten apples, two carrots, two tins of sweetcorn, a tin of beans, tin of tuna and cake.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:

In Dudley we work hard to ensure no child goes hungry and we will continue to support families during these difficult times.
The hampers provided by our in-house catering service give families a range of nutritious food items that can be used to provide ten lunchtime meals – the equivalent to the children being in school.
Moving forward there is enough flexibility to allow schools to choose to supply hampers or vouchers and we will support schools in whichever option they choose.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the amazing staff involved in providing families with free school meals. They really have worked incredibly hard to turn things round quickly which I am sure will be welcomed by the families who need this support.
We also extend our support to anyone who is struggling to afford food and other essentials as a result of the pandemic through our Covid-19 emergency assistance grant, further details can be found on our website.

Further details about the emergency assistance grant can be found at - https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/emergencies/coronavirus/financial-support/

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