THE Conservative Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Mark Coxshall, took an executive decision last week to protect Free School Meals for five weeks of school holidays up until March 2023.
Securing vital nutrition for children across Thurrock during the upcoming October half-term, Christmas holidays and February half-term which should alleviate cost pressures from vulnerable families this winter.
Thurrock Council projects that a total of 8,000 children will be supported by this decision throughout the five weeks of school holidays. The Government has made available £1.2 million within the Household Support Fund – £600,000 of which is going to be allocated for providing free school meals for these five weeks of school holidays.
Cllr Barry Johnson (Cabinet Member for Children & Education), said: “This is welcome news and I am particularly glad that the Leader decided to fast track this programme so that much needed funding could reach schools in time for October Half-Term breaks at the end of this month. Currently, many of the most vulnerable families in our Borough receive free-school meals for most weeks during the year. I’m happy this Council has taken the initiative to direct available support towards keeping 8,000 children well-fed this winter.”