Leader of Council, Cllr. Sean Morgan announced plans to support the allocation of a one-off fund of £900k to support families with a Free School Meals holiday payment following an announcement from Welsh Government to withdraw the funding.
During the full council meeting this evening, 4th July, the Leader reflected on the way that Caerphilly had responded to the Pandemic and led the way to deliver meals directly to the homes of more than 7,000 pupils and how the delivery model progressed to a voucher scheme for holiday payments when the delivery of onsite provision in schools resumed.
Cllr. Morgan commented, “The ever-increasing cost of living has become a significant burden on our communities especially those from low-income backgrounds. The feedback we have already received from families has evidenced that they were absolutely relying on this payment and had every expectation it would continue during the Summer Holiday.”
He continued, “I know all members share the view that it is vital our children and young people can enjoy their school holidays in the knowledge that there is food available for them. We as a Council, can help take some pressure off families who are struggling to make ends meet.”
The Leader also called upon officers to bring forward a report in early Autumn, which will outline options to ensure this much needed support is sustained over the longer term, forming part of our the overall Caerphilly Cares support package.
Cllr. Morgan and opposition leader Lindsey Whittle agreed to collectively ask Welsh Government to review the universal free school meals policy, in light of the pressures the poorest families are under, in the midst of this cost of living crisis.
Further details on the payment will be released to eligible families over the coming weeks.