1st August 2021

Summer Holidays food support for Somerset families

Somerset County Council will continue to provide help to families in need of food support over the school Summer Holidays.

The Department of Work and Pensions has extended its Covid Local Support Grant, providing £1.4m to Somerset County Council to support vulnerable families.

The Council is using the grant to fund food vouchers worth £15 per week for children eligible for Free School Meals over the six-week Summer Holidays.

The food vouchers will be distributed by local schools and the Council would like to thank the school staff who have undertaken the work to make sure the eligible families can access the vouchers.

Somerset County Council has been working to tackle holiday hunger during the pandemic, providing funding for food and vouchers over the October, February, and May half-term periods, as well as the Christmas and Easter holidays.

There will be further support for children and young people on Free School Meals in Somerset thanks to the Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset programme.

Somerset County Council recently teamed up with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to deliver fun activities and healthy food to nearly 1,800 children over the Easter holidays, and plans are in place to significantly expand this offer for the upcoming Summer Holidays.

There will be more than 80 venues across Somerset offering face-to-face provision during the Summer Holidays for children aged from 5 to 16, with activities on offer including sports, music workshops, kayaking and much more.

There are places for around 6,000 young people who qualify for Free School Meals, and the opportunity for thousands of other Somerset youngsters to get involved in the activities too.

Leader of Somerset County Council, Councillor David Fothergill, said: “Thanks to this additional funding, Somerset is in an excellent position to help families in need with food support over the Summer Holidays.

“This will be bolstered by the Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset programme which will give thousands of children and young people access to a wide variety of activities to keep them active, social and healthy.”

The Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset programme will run for four weeks, and the booking system is now live on the SASP website: Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership – Happy Healthy Holidays Programme (sasp.co.uk)

Anyone in Somerset who needs support with access to food or medicines, or emotional and financial support, can call the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275, seven days a week, 8am to 6pm, or visit the CCS Village Agents website https://somersetagents.org/help-with-food/.