The families of more than 8,000 pupils in Swansea who are eligible for free school meals are continuing to be supported during the current lockdown.
Parents and carers who take-up the option have a choice over how they access this support either via direct payments to their bank accounts or by receiving weekly food parcels.
Thanks to Welsh Government funding this will also continue during the February half-term and the Easter holidays.
Most families have chosen to have direct payments but for those who have decided to have food parcels these offer a wide range of products and parents and carers can choose vegetarian, vegan or halal options for their children should they wish.
Swansea Council has also implemented a ground breaking practice for Wales by negotiating with the Home Office to make payments to the pre-paid cards accessed by asylum seeking children welcomed to the area.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Jennifer Raynor, said: “Sadly but unsurprisingly given the pandemic we have seen a substantial increase in the number of families who qualify for free school meals.
“Our staff from Benefits, IT, Education, Finance and Catering have worked closely together throughout this pandemic to ensure all applications are quickly processed and that qualifying families who apply are supported.
“Since the pandemic began they have also moved quickly to respond to schools closing and other challenges, often at very short notice, to put support in place.
“If there are parents or carers who are not currently receiving free school meal support but believe they may qualify then I would urge them to apply.
“I would also like to thank the Welsh Government for the additional funding that has been provided throughout the pandemic towards the additional cost, to ensure children do not go hungry during the school holidays.”
To apply for free school meals in Swansea visit: www.swansea.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals
Queries relating to the payments and parcels for eligible children can be directed to FSMpayments@swansea.gov.uk
Families unable to access the internet can phone 01792 636611.
Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés
Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.
Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.
The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.
The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.
Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.
Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.
Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”
Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:
Monday Roast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw Tuesday Chicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese Wednesday Breakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast Thursday Cheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw Friday Ultimate Fish & Chips
(Lead image: Morrisons)
Proposal to ban tea and coffee for under 16s in Wales branded ‘illiberal’
Proposals to consider banning the sale of tea and coffee to under-16s in Wales have been labelled ‘outrageously illiberal’ by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.
The Welsh Labour Government reportedly confirmed that it is considering the move as part of plans to make young people healthier and stop rising obesity rates.
The move comes as the Welsh Government raise concerns of the rising consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks among young people is also causing concern about the effects on their education.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is beggars’ belief that this is even under consideration.
“We are all aware obesity is a serious problem in Wales and it is important that we take action to reduce the levels across Wales.
“However, it doesn’t take an expert consultation to realise that tea and coffee are not responsible for high obesity levels.
“It would be outrageously illiberal to ban the sale of coffee and tea to under 16-year-olds, something which they regularly drink themselves at home.”
(Lead image: Elina Fairytale / Pexels.com)
Tesco makes it even easier for Swansea shoppers to help local food banks and charities
Tesco is making it easier than ever for shoppers to give a helping hand to food banks and charities feeding people in their local community, with ready-prepared donation bags at local stores in Swansea this summer.
The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in every large Tesco store across the UK from Thursday, June 30 until Saturday, July 2, and shoppers are being urged to donate long-life food to support local food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and thousands of frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Tesco will top up all food donations made during the collection with an extra 20% cash donation to support the two charities.
The pre-filled donation bags, available during the collection, will contain items that are most-needed by the local Trussell Trust foodbank or frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Shoppers will be able to scan the contents at the till as part of their usual shop before dropping the bag into the food collection donation trolley.
It is one of a number of new ways that customers can give their support during this summer’s food collection. Shoppers can also for the first time round up their bill at the checkout to make a small donation to both the charities.
From this week it is also easier for customers who shop in Express stores to support the charities, with new permanent donation points being placed in every Tesco Express store in the UK for the first time, meaning shoppers will now be able to donate at Express stores year-round. Shoppers can also donate their Tesco Clubcard points online to either of the charities.
Tesco Head of Community Claire de Silva said, “This collection marks ten years of us working with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. During that decade our customers have been amazingly generous, donating more than 100 million meals during our food collections and at permanent collection points in stores. This summer we wanted to make it even easier for customers to donate as we know that every can donated really does help.”
Donations are more important than ever as the charities have reported increasing need for food.
Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “Our charities are telling us that the need for food has vastly increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and over the last year we’ve continued to deliver four meals every second to people facing food insecurity across the UK.
“That’s why we would be immensely grateful to anyone who is able to donate a bag of pasta or tin of vegetables over the Tesco Food Collection weekend – your generous donations will help us continue providing vital support to families struggling to cope this summer.”
Danni Malone, Director of Network Programmes and Innovation at the Trussell Trust added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers who donate to the Food Collection.
“We know that many families on the very lowest incomes have been forced to the doors of food banks to get by, as the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living and continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. So, once again, we are calling on shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the coming weeks and months.”
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