Food vouchers worth £30 are to be distributed by Dorset Council over the Easter school holidays to support children in Dorset including Swanage, who receive benefits-related free school meals.
Dorset Council has received a grant from the government that it is using to fund the vouchers for families on low incomes or those who are experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid pandemic.
Vouchers to the value of £30 per child
Supermarket vouchers to the value of £30 per child will be provided through their school to help towards the cost of groceries over Easter.
Dorset Council received £320,584 via the government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme to pay for the vouchers.
Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said:
“These are difficult times for everyone, but they are particularly challenging for the families who have seen a significant drop in income.
“Over the last year, these food vouchers have taken some of the burden from our families and we’re delighted we can continue this support during the Easter holidays.”
Leeson House, Dorset Council’s outdoor education centre in Langton Matravers
Easter holiday activities
The government has also provided Dorset Council with funding for free outdoor activities for children who qualify for benefit-based free school meals. The Easter holiday programme includes pond dipping at Leeson House in Langton Matravers near Swanage.
In addition, 1,500 boxes containing home activities, resources and cooking ingredients along with recipes are being sent to some of the families in Dorset, hardest hit as a result of the most recent lockdown.
Councillor Andrew Parry, added:
“It’s fantastic to be able to provide such a bright and fun initiative to our local children. We know that for many families the school holidays can be a particular pressure point, so we hope these activities will be something to look forward to.”
Strict Covid-19 guidelines
Dorset Council says it is working with Public Health Dorset to make sure all its activities adhere to strict Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
While the supermarket vouchers are being distributed via schools, the holiday activities need to be booked online