Families in Bath and North East Somerset who are eligible for benefit-related free school meals will receive vouchers worth £30 per child to help towards food costs in the Christmas holidays.

From the 15th December, parents and carers will receive an email from Bath & North East Somerset Council offering supermarket vouchers worth £15 per child per week.

People who received a voucher during the October school holidays will receive the email automatically and do not need to reapply.

Once families reply to the email to confirm they want the supermarket vouchers, a second email will be sent containing the links to access the vouchers.

The first email must be replied to within 48 hours of receipt and the links must be converted into the vouchers within two months of the first email having been received.

Anyone who hasn’t received an email from the council by now should email [email protected] or call 01225 477277 (option 1). People are asked to check their trash or spam folders before contacting the council.

Families who are eligible for benefit related free school meals but have not claimed a voucher previously can make a claim through council’s free school meals vouchers web portal, which opened during the afternoon of December 15th. The website can be found here.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, and Communities, said: “It has been a tough few years for many people following the pandemic and now with food and energy prices rising dramatically. Finances are especially difficult in the winter months, so I’m pleased that we’ve been able to use the Government’s Household Support Fund to help families make sure their children don’t go hungry this Christmas. We hope it will help people not to have to make a choice between heating or eating.”

Households in emergency need can access other support with food across the area, including via the council’s Welfare Support Team and the Community Wellbeing Hub.

Bath and North East Somerset residents on low incomes may also be able to claim a one-off payment to help with energy costs. The standard payment is £200 with a higher rate of £300 for households with one or more people who qualify for certain types of benefits to help with disability or care-related needs and expenses. To find out about eligibility and how to claim, visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/household-support-fund