Pupils to receive food vouchers amid coronavirus outbreak

More than 4000 pupils will be given support for meals while schools are closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Highland Council is offering e-vouchers to families to support access to free school meals.

The service will ensure that more than 4000 pupils will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For most youngsters, it will be delivered digitally through e-vouchers for food in local supermarkets.

The council says that enabling choice will provide flexibility and also help to reduce waste, as food can be purchased according to need or preference in the household.

Some restrictions apply as the e-vouchers cannot be used to purchase age-restricted products such as tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets and fuel.

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak has caused many vulnerable families additional hardship. The vouchers will ensure the most vulnerable children can get food.

The council is continuing to investigate other ways of providing food across the region for vulnerable groups within the rapidly changing environment.

It is working closely with its leisure arm, High Life Highland, along with Eden Court Theatre and charities.

Highland education chairman John Finlayson said: “The provision of school meals is a priority service that we’re committed to delivering including during when schools are closed in the current times.

“I applaud the council staff who are working hard to implement this service.”

A helpline number is available for anyone needing urgent help during the crisis.

The number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to specialist council teams. It operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.

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