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Free school meals, clothing grants and financial support available

10th June 2022

The county council have announced a range of support available for those affected by the cost of living crisis.

Any parents in receipt of income support, Job Seekers Allowance, Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit should formally apply for free school meals and clothing grants through the county council. Any parents who are eligible for free school meals because of their financial situation are automatically eligible for the school clothing grants.

Applying online for free school meals and school clothing grants is quick and simple – the whole process takes around five minutes. Once approved, the council will send parents a voucher which they can redeem for cash at the Post Office, giving them the choice of where to buy school clothing.

By applying for the support, schools also receive money through the Pupil Premium Government funding

If you are unable to apply online, please call 01228 606060 for further details.

The county council have also earmarked £1m to further support those in need of financial support:

  • £0.5m will be used to boost the council’s Ways to Welfare budget which is used to issue grants and other support to people in need. If you’re in need of urgent financial support, call the county council's Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm).
  • £0.5m will be used for Direct Community Support – to further support people in urgent need. This will partly be achieved by bulk purchasing food to fill a shortfall in food bank donations, as the cost-of-living crisis hits more and more people who would have been able previously to buy extras during their weekly shop to support food banks. Funds will also be allocated to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) to enable them to directly allocate emergency funding to individuals in crisis.
  • If you’re struggling to pay your bills, buy food or are in urgent financial need – please take advantage of the additional funding that is being provided as part of the Cost-of-Living Reserve fund. You can do this by speaking to the county council’s support helpline on 0800 783 1966 – their friendly team will advise on the best support to help you in your current situation.

For more information about the support available to people struggling with the cost of living whether you need financial, emotional or physical support – please visit the county council website.