FAMILIES eligible for free school meals will continue to receive payments during the summer holidays in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of families in Carmarthenshire receive payments into their bank / building society accounts.

Payments of £39 per child are made every fortnight so that parents can continue to provide breakfast and lunch, five days a week for their children.

A small number of families receive a weekly delivery of food packs instead, and this will also continue during the summer months, despite the re-opening of schools on June 29.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I want to reassure families that we will continue to provide free school meals during the summer holidays.

“With schools re-opening, a number of families are concerned that the current provision of free school meals would stop, but this is not the case.

“Although we are moving into the recovery period of this pandemic, it is a very slow process and it is still a very difficult time for everyone. Some businesses remain closed and there are a large number of people who are still not back in work.

“We will continue to do all we can to support families at this time.”

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Schools will be re-opening on June 29 for children to check in and catch up before the summer holidays. Year groups will be split into cohorts and there will be smaller class sizes, with at most, a third of pupils present at any one time.

School meals will not be provided this term, and pupils will be asked to bring in a packed lunch. This will help with staggered lunch times and reduce the contact required for serving food. Parents of pupils in receipt of free school meals will have already received a payment to buy food for their children or a food pack to prepare a packed lunch.

Some £33million is being made available by Welsh Government to local authorities to continue to provide free school meals until the end of August.

Families eligible for free school meals who have not yet provided their bank details in order to receive a payment, should visit our website newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/coronavirus to set this up.

Families who have had a change in circumstances and are now in receipt of certain benefits could now be eligible for free school meals, further information including how to apply can be found on our website.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria to receive free school meals but still need support, please call our helpline on 01267 234567 between 8.30am and 6pm seven days a week or e-mail direct@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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