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Free school meal payments to run through October break

By bellmannews / October 12, 2020
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From Aberdeenshire Council communcations team –

Aberdeenshire Council is to provide school meal payments directly to eligible families in the absence of holiday hunger schemes during the October holiday period.

The local authority will continue to use its Scottish Government Food Fund allocation to support families to access this free school meal provision in the same way as it did during the summer period. In addition to the £2.50 payment per lunch per day, a £1 breakfast payment will also be allocated.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen, explained: “We are delivering this provision for families in need in recognition that many activity programmes and clubs which would normally take place will not be running this year.”

Families already in receipt of free school meals – not those offered universally in P1-3 – will automatically receive the payment of £17.50 per child per week and do not need to do anything new to register. Payments will be issued today (Mon, Oct 12), although there may be some variation as to when this appears in individuals’ bank accounts.

The council is able to make this payment to families in the same way as is done for school clothing grants. This only applies to families who are eligible for clothing grants too.   

Committee vice-chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “We hope this goes some way towards mitigating against what continues to be a very challenging time for many families. No child or young person should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. We hope everyone has an enjoyable break and we look forward to welcoming you back in the new term.”  

If you are facing financial hardship and believe you may now be eligible for free school meals, please apply online through Aberdeenshire Council’s website. Eligibility is usually based on whether you are in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits or allowances: 

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Any income-related element of Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit (WTC), and have an income of less than £16,105
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC), and have an income of less than £6900
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • Universal Credit with a monthly take home pay of less than £610.

If you are not able to apply online, contact Aberdeenshire Council on 01467 533400. 

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