Wales has become the first country in the UK to guarantee ongoing funding for children to continue to receive free school meals throughout the summer holidays in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welsh Labour Government has today confirmed each eligible child will receive the equivalent of £19.50 a week.
With the support of the Welsh Local Government Association, the Government will make £33m available to help local authorities continue to provide free school meals.
Wales is the first country in the UK to guarantee funding and guidance for the provision of free school meals until schools re-open or until the end of August.
When the Government announced schools would close on Wednesday, March 18, it was quickly confirmed that £7m would be made available to local authorities to provide arrangements for free school meals.
After a month of local authorities providing free school meals to communities across Wales, and following a review into the possibility of adopting a national voucher scheme, it was agreed the way forward for Wales was for local authorities to decide what works best for their local communities.
This confirmation makes Wales the first country in the UK to provide continued assurance of support to families during the summer school holidays.
In the revised guidance issued to local authorities, the Welsh Government outlines three options for providing free school meals that require the least amount of social interaction, they are:
- the provision of vouchers
- the delivery of food items to the families of pupils in receipt of free school meals
- a transfer of funds to the bank accounts of families eligible for free school meals (BACS payments)
To find out how your local council will provide free school meals, please use the postcode search function at https://gov.wales/free-school-meals-coronavirus-guidance-schools
If you are eligible for free school meals and are not yet receiving them, please contact your local authority.