Support for pupils

Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 this year, Buckinghamshire is supporting pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and are committed to ensure that no child in need goes hungry.

Along with our helpers in the voluntary sector, the council havs already spent more than £180,000 on food for families in need. 

In addition, it already has plans to develop a number of longer term programmes to assist the most vulnerable.

It comes at a time when Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford has brought the whole matter into the open with his attempts to secure free meals for needy children during holidays.

Programmes are aimed at early intervention and managing family finance with £120,000 committed to schemes to help residents grow their own food, if they can, and learning how to cook healthy food on a low budget.

This autumn half term Buckinghamshire Council aims to ensure that families across the county, with children eligible for free school meals, know how to benefit from the wide range of support that is available.

Buckinghamshire has a strong voluntary and community sector which is active in supporting vulnerable families. Its ‘Helping Hand’ team can help direct people to the support that is right for them.

Support line:
If anyone is worried about food over half term, and unsure what help is available, contact the council’s ‘Helping Hand’ support line on 01296 395000, and someone will be ‘on hand’ to help. This programme is funded by joint support from the Government’s Hardship Fund provided to local councils over the summer and Buckinghamshire Council.

Council leader Martin Tett said: ‘We don’t want any child in Buckinghamshire to go hungry this holiday. As a council we are committed to ensuring that does not happen.

‘We know how fantastic our communities are with supporting each other during times of crisis, there is lots of local support available.

‘We also know it isn’t always that easy to know where to turn, so I would encourage anyone with a child who is eligible for free school meals and is worried, to contact us so we can ensure they can get access to the support they need.

‘We are here and can offer that practical help, including links to supermarkets if needed, too.”

For more information, please see the Helping Hand page.