Milton Keynes City Council is allocating over £1m of government funding to provide supermarket vouchers for struggling families during the school holidays and days of industrial action taken by teachers.
Supermarket vouchers worth £50 are being given to families this month after the City Council added another £350,000 on top of the £700,000 it set aside in October last year for people who might otherwise struggle to cover lunch costs for their children during the school holidays.
Those eligible include families entitled to benefit-related free school meals, in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, or who are identified by schools as in particular need.
The families of more than 11,000 children were provided with supermarket vouchers during the October half term and the Christmas school holidays last year, receiving £15 per child per week.
MK City Council is now increasing the vouchers to £50 for the February half-term and in response to the industrial action taken by teachers and the continuing rises in the cost-of-living. This will be a one-off payment in response to the industrial action taken by teachers during March and to support the continuing rises in the cost-of-living.
A similar scheme was implemented last year which covered all school holidays.
In October MK City Council declared a ‘cost-of-living’ emergency’ and set up a Winter Plan with funding for local initiatives that provide food and domestic essentials along with projects that can offset or reduce energy bills. Further details about the support available can be found here.
Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, Cllr Jane Carr said: “These supermarket vouchers will give families much needed relief as they worry about how they will feed their children outside of term time.
"We’re doing everything we can to support our most vulnerable families during these extremely challenging times and will be rolling out further measures in our upcoming budget.”