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Gedling MP Tom Randall heralds free school meals help

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Children across Gedling borough who are eligible for free school meals are set to benefit from a national voucher scheme.

Gedling MP Tom Randall has welcomed the new measure, which will allow youngsters to continue to access the provision from home.

Borough schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while they are closed due to coronavirus.

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

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Pupils eligible for free school dinners will be sent a food voucher

The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S and the government is working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

Gedling MP Tom Randall said: “This is welcome and very reassuring news for many families across Gedling borough and will help to ensure children get healthy nutritious meals out of school.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson added: “I recognise that the unprecedented action this Government is taking to protect the country from coronavirus, including closing schools, is dramatically affecting the lives of many families.

“I want to thank schools for the support they are continuing to provide to families during such uncertain times.

“No child should go hungry as a result of the measures introduced to keep people at home, protect the NHS and save lives. That’s why we are launching this scheme to make sure children who usually benefit from free school meals still have access to healthy and nutritious meals while they are not attending school.”

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Parents will receive the voucher through their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.

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