Details released on alleviating holiday hunger in Banbury and lunch vouchers for eligible children in Northamptonshire

Council bosses in Cherwell and Northamptonshire have released details of food vouchers and holiday hunger action for children who are missing free lunches during half term.
Grants are being used to direct food to those in need this half term in Northamptonshire and Cherwell. Picture by GettyGrants are being used to direct food to those in need this half term in Northamptonshire and Cherwell. Picture by Getty
Grants are being used to direct food to those in need this half term in Northamptonshire and Cherwell. Picture by Getty

Cherwell District Council said it welcomed the opportunity to work on holiday hunger, distributing £116,326 in government grant funding, while distribution of the Northamptonshire vouchers will be made to families who have previously applied and have been deemed eligible for free school meals.

The Cherwell funding came from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) via Oxfordshire County Council, with the intention of help relieving hardship and reducing food insecurity across the district.

Of this £45,000 has been allocated to a hardship fund administered by Citizens Advice and £71,326 to a Community Hub Emergency Relief Fund, which Cherwell is administering.

The Community Hub Emergency Relief Fund is directed at voluntary and community organisations which run food banks and similar schemes.

To date, £17,465 has been spent on the following local projects: Cherwell Larder: £5,000, The Sunshine Centre, Bretch Hill, Banbury: £5,000, Banbury Mosque: £5,000 and Community First Oxfordshire: £2,465.

Cherwell will continue to allocate funding from this pot throughout the year as applications from eligible organisations come forward. The council has until the end of the year to distribute the grants. Voluntary and community organisations which are working to tackle the economic impacts of Covid-19 on Cherwell residents are invited to read more and apply here.

These new areas of work to relieve hardship and reducing food insecurity are in addition to the council’s longstanding Play:Full project, which tackles holiday hunger in the Brighter Futures wards of Banbury. The scheme sees the councils work with the groups who provide holiday activity sessions to provide the children who attend them with free healthy lunches or snacks.

The Northamptonshire food vouchers scheme for half term is being delivered using an online platform which will distribute the vouchers directly to the email addresses of eligible parents. The email will appear in parents’ inboxes as a message from Northamptonshire County Council.

Those who are eligible but do not receive this email should visit the Northamptonshire County Council website and complete the eligibility form available as directed.

The vouchers can be used in the following shops: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Aldi and McColl's.

17,001 children qualify for free school meals in Northamptonshire. The total cost of the voucher support is £255,015, equating £15 per child, per voucher.

Further information can be found on the NCC website here.