Families in Bath and North East Somerset who receive benefit-related free school meals will now continue to be supported with food costs during school holidays until the end of Easter next year.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has recently secured Government funding that will ensure families will receive supermarket vouchers in school holidays up to and including Easter 2024.

This week, families will receive vouchers worth £90 per child to cover the upcoming summer holidays. Parents and carers will receive emails offering the supermarket vouchers during the afternoon of Wednesday, July 19.

People who received a voucher during the May half term 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.

If a resident hasn’t received an email from the council by the end of July 19, they are advised to first check in their spam and trash folders searching under ‘free school’ before emailing [email protected] or calling 01225 477277 (option 1).

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 will open during the afternoon of July 19.

Councillor Paul May, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “We are pleased to have secured this funding to help children who are most in need. Many families with children in receipt of free school meals struggle with extra food costs in school holidays, so these vouchers will help lessen the financial load. Anyone in emergency need can also access other types of local food support via our Welfare Support Team and the Community Wellbeing Hub.”

A list of foodbanks, food pantries, community cafes and community fridges with opening times and days can be found on the Bath and North East Somerset Food finder website. Click on the link to the ‘matrix document’ to download the list.