Council issue food vouchers for 6,000 Isle of Wight children and young people this Christmas

The Isle of Wight council are issuing food vouchers for 6,000 children and young people this Christmas holiday and extending the scheme to February half term too

child with santa hat and xmas pyjamas on

The Isle of Wight Council has today (Wednesday) announced a major scheme to provide food vouchers for all in need this Christmas, with the aim of no child going hungry.

The initiative will support vulnerable children and young people and their families who are facing hardship over the festive period because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Brading: Ensure no Isle of Wight child goes hungry over the holidays
Cllr Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said the vouchers would help feed an estimated 5,590 children on the Island.

He said:

“By introducing a food voucher scheme, we can help to ensure that no Isle of Wight child should go hungry over the Christmas and new year holidays.

“This decision has been taken at the first opportunity to enable schools to get the vouchers prior to the Christmas break.

“There will be a further announcement next week about a range of further community based provision to support families over the winter.”

£456,845 Winter Grant Scheme
The scheme is being funded from the £456,845 Winter Grant Scheme, awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a planned programme of supportive measures over winter.

It is also to be extended over the February 2021 half-term week.

The vouchers will be available to the following:

  • All families whose children are eligible for free school meals.
  • Children being supported by a social worker.
  • Children receiving early help services across the Island.
  • Two to four year olds accessing childcare and eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium.
  • Sixteen to 18 year olds who were previously eligible for free school meals.

Supporting care leavers and young carers
The council also has sufficient funding to provide vouchers to the Island’s care leavers and support to young carers.

Nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, schools and colleges will be the distributors of the vouchers.

Each eligible household will receive a voucher per child worth £15 per week which can be used at a range of supermarkets.

Cash for schools and colleges
Additionally, the council is providing schools and colleges with a discretionary grant fund.

These grants will help support families who may not be immediately eligible for the voucher scheme but find themselves struggling financially — for example, where a parent has lost their job due to Covid-19.

Schools can use these grants to help families with food and other essential items, such as energy cards/tokens to pay fuel bills.

Education providers best placed to distribute vouchers
Cllr Brading added:

“I would like to thank all our education providers for helping us to reach those in need of this support.

“They know their children, young people and families best so are far better placed to distribute the vouchers. With their assistance, we can help to ensure that vulnerable children don’t go without necessities like food and heating over the winter.”

Families who may be facing financial difficulties this Christmas are encouraged to speak to their early years or childcare provider, school or college, and the matter will be handled in the strictest of confidence.


News shared by Isle of Wight council press office. Ed

Image: edrost88 under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020 9:30am

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2o6N

Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Youth

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4 Comments on "Council issue food vouchers for 6,000 Isle of Wight children and young people this Christmas"

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Geoff Brodie

The Council may be issuing them, but they are funded by a Government that was shamed into doing so last month by Marcus Rashford and others. Children in my ward would have got them anyway thanks to Pan Together community charity.

Angela Hewitt

Excellent news but also a disgrace. How has our Government’s, past and present (Labour included) allowed our country to be so neglectful.
By the way the uncanny resemblance in the picture, for different reason, makes me feel very, very sad for a certain family on the mainland.

ratbag

Will the council be following the DfE’s (and our MP’s) lead in discriminating against disabled children who the council have not found school places for? Or will they do the decent thing?

Fenders

Great news for many children and island families.