Dundee City Council is finalising its arrangements for free school meals while pupils remain at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 6,892 children will be covered by the city-wide scheme which begins next week and will see a direct weekly payment of £11.25 per child made into the accounts of families who qualify – and where the council holds bank details.
Included are all children in a nursery which is part of the additional hours pilot scheme and any child in a nursery who would usually receive free school meals.
Of pupils in P1 to P3, only those who receive the school clothing grant will qualify. Payments will be made for pupils from P4 to S6 based on free school meals entitlement.
Vouchers will be available as a safety net in case bank details for some families cannot be confirmed.
The cost for a 14-week period until the end of term on June 26, or earlier if restrictions are ended, would be £1,085,490.
This will be paid for partly by the council’s share of the Scottish Government’s Food Fund.
Payments will be backdated until March 23, the date from which the council was unable to provide a normal free school meals service.
Council leader John Alexander said: “This payment will be a practical help for families to put food on the table during extremely challenging times.
“We know that free school meals have a positive impact for these pupils and we have developed a scheme which is simple and convenient.
“The establishment of Community Support Centres and a food distribution centre show how we are working hard to assist vulnerable people.
“Free school meals also have an important role to play, with these payments making a real difference for families across Dundee.”
If the council does not hold a family’s bank details and they are eligible, they may receive a text message asking them to contact the council.
However, if people haven’t received a text message and they think their child may be eligible, please contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01382 433458.
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