Havering Council is funding free school meals for those most in need during half term.
Each child in receipt of free school meals will, from next week, be able to apply for £15 per week to support them while their school is closed.
Parents and carers will be able to apply for this using an online application form through the council website: www.havering.gov.uk/covid19 from 10 am on Monday.
Once the application has been made and processed, then the money will be paid in bulk into their bank account to cover half term.
The Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Damian White, said:
“This has been a massive debate nationally and I know it has created division around the country. The most important thing here is that we support those most in need during the COVID crisis. We need to ensure they do not miss out on meals while schools are closed, which is even more important now we are in Tier 2 and on high alert. This goes beyond politics. We have taken this decision with only one agenda – to ensure children do not go hungry over half term.
“This is why I instructed officers to find a way of ensuring those who qualify for free school meals continue to get the support they need during half term. This is around 7,000 children from the borough and they will receive £15 per week to pay for food. We will also do the same over Christmas if needed. This is part of our ongoing support to residents throughout the crises.
“This will be open for application from Monday. This has only been made possible by the additional financial support that the government has made available to local government. This meant we could boost our existing financial support package.”
The Council will be contacting parents, and ensuring the borough’s food banks are on hand to offer further support.
The Council also offers support for those who don’t qualify for free school meals but still need help. Further information can be found on the website www.havering.gov.uk/covid19.