Low income families to receive school meal cash over summer

Families eligible for free school meals will receive a cash payment of £73.60 per child.

East Lothian low income families eligible for free school meals to receive cash to feed children over summer holidays Getty Images
The money will be paid into their bank accounts after the school term ends this week.

Low income families will be given a cash boost to help feed their children over the school summer holidays.

East Lothian Council said families eligible for free school meals will receive a cash payment of £73.60 per child to cover the five weeks youngsters are at home.

The money will be paid into their bank accounts after the school term ends this week.

Additional support will also go to families with a Scottish Government Scottish Child Payment of £130 per child also due to be paid out.

The council says it has also received  £161,537 from the Scottish Government’s Summer Holiday Food, Activities and Childcare Programme which has been allocated to projects across the county to provide activities, childcare and food for children aged five to 14 from low income families.

Among projects benefiting from the additional holiday fund are Can Do who provide one on one support for children with disabilities, Pennypit Community Trust’s lunch club and activities which support families in Prestonpans and surrounding areas, and pop-up play sessions from East Lothian Play Association.

Councillor Fiona Dugdale, cabinet spokesperson for  education, families and children’s services, said: “We know that the current economic climate is making things extremely challenging for many in our communities, including families.

“By offering financial support to families who are eligible for free school meals to cover holiday lunches we hope that we can alleviate some of this pressure.

“This is in addition to the funding that has been given for projects and activities to support low income families to enjoy a healthy and active summer within their community.

“The Scottish Government Child Payment will also be welcomed and shows the additional benefits that families can easily access when they sign-up for free school meals.

“There are other supports available and the council’s teams and our partners are available to provide help and advice on issues including benefits and welfare support, council tax or rent, or help with energy costs. I would encourage anyone who is concerned about their financial situation to get in touch and find out more about the help that is available.”