Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns has welcomed that children across Rutland and Melton who are eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.
Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.
The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.
Rutland and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns, said:
“I welcome this reassuring news for many Rutland and Melton families and the huge variety of shops the vouchers can be used at. No child should go hungry as a result of the measures introduced to keep people at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“I also want to put on record my sincerest gratitude to our local schools who are continuing to provide support to our communities during such uncertain times”.
Parents will receive the voucher through their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.
Schools will be emailed by the Department for Education’s chosen supplier, Edenred. Schools will then either be able to:
1.Order vouchers individually online and have a code sent via email to each family. The family can then show the code on their phone at the supermarket; or
2.Arrange a bulk order of multiple codes and receive an excel spreadsheet to help schools organise sending on to a family, or create an eGift card for a preferred supermarket to be posted to a family if parents cannot get online.
Alicia Kearns MP continues to work with local and national stakeholders to ensure Rutland and Melton’s response to coronavirus is robust and resilient, and that local communities are supported.