After the government's decision not to continue to fund free school meals over the holidays, people in Cambridgeshire are being reminded that there always has been and there still is support for those who need it.
Cambridgeshire County Council and local District and City councils are issuing a reminder to all those that are struggling to cope during the pandemic to make contact. This includes families who may be struggling but are not eligible for free school meals. Contact the Countywide hub on 0345 045 5219 or the local Fenland District Council hub on 01354 654321.
District/City localities, supported by the countywide hub, were set up to support people, whatever their needs might be due to the impact of the pandemic. These localities will - as they have been for the last seven months - support people to access food and other supplies if they are struggling to provide for their families; and this will include those who are eligible for free school meals during the holidays. Advice and guidance is also made available to ensure families are maximising their eligibility for other benefits.
"We take seriously our responsibilities to ensure support for vulnerable people, the provision of food for children in the school holidays is no exception; the majority of families will not go hungry as those on low incomes regularly manage using their benefits; however if they are struggling we can ensure emergency food supplies are made available," said Cllr Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.
"In August Government provided our area with limited financial support of £540k for measures such as this - for vulnerable people of all ages. Alongside our district and city colleagues we talk to people about their needs and how these can best be met, so that this resource has targeted those in greatest need. For Cambridgeshire, unlike some other areas, there is practically nothing left - but it is vital to us that no child is left hungry.
"We continue to ask Government to set a new and fairer funding formula, so that our Cambridgeshire residents can enjoy the same benefits that many in other areas regularly take for granted," he added
Schools will also be issuing reminders of how to access help from the localities to the parents of all children eligible for free school meals in Cambridgeshire.