Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North
Jan
12

I want to make sure that Norwich parents know how they can get support while schools are closed

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 12 January 2021 15:57

I want to make sure that Norwich parents know how they can get support while schools are closed. If you need help in Norfolk, please look here: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools/school-meals-and-milk
Nationally, here is what is going on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools
I’m aware that there have been some pictures going round on social media of food parcels which are completely unacceptable. The Department for Education is looking into this urgently and the Minister for Children is speaking to the company responsible and they will be making it clear that boxes like this should not be given to families.
While schools are closed to many pupils during this period of lockdown, the Government giving them extra funding to provide food parcels to children eligible for free school meals while they are at home.
Schools are being encouraged to work with their catering team or food provider to provide nutritious food parcels and the Government has published guidance to support this.
When food parcels are not possible, schools are also able to supply locally arranged supermarket vouchers and as the national voucher scheme will soon be reopening.
I am committed to ensuring that young people have the support and opportunities to succeed for the future and will always support a safety net being provided to those who need it the most.
Families that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and need extra support this winter with food and bills have benefitted from £170 million scheme unveiled by the Government in November last year, with Norfolk receiving £2,740,592.
The Government have committed to building on efforts to ensure no child goes hungry while learning outside of the classroom as well. That is why schools will be provided with extra funding to support providing fool parcels or meals to eligible children, and where schools cannot offer food parcels, a national voucher scheme is in place so that every child entitled will have access to a free school meal while schools remain closed.
If you are aware of any local specific issues please do email me chloe@chloesmith.org.uk or call my constituency office on 01603 414756.

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