Confirmation of free school meal payments over summer

Published

22nd June 2020

Children and families in Dundee will continue receiving their free school meal payments over the summer holiday period.

The scheme will be extended from 29th June until 10th August in order to minimise the effects Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having on families.

The extension was agreed today by the leaders of the political groups on Dundee City Council under essential business arrangements.

Since lockdown began, over 6,800 families with children eligible for free school meals have received the weekly payments directly to their bank accounts. The extension will mean families will continue to receive £11.25 directly, on a weekly basis, per child.

Children and Families Service Convener, Councillor Stewart Hunter, said: “This is very positive news. We know the impact that these payments are making to many families.

“Several parents have gotten in touch with us to share their appreciation of this available support. 

“Covid-19 has impacted on everyone differently and by extending free school payments, this should help to mitigate some of the challenges facing families at this time.”

Additionally, the Council’s will continue support for the city’s Food Insecurity Network with continued financial support to Dundee’s community food banks for food provision efforts over the summer holiday period.

The community food provision efforts have led to over 4,400 people benefiting from the service per week, which is a collaborative effort by 24 local food organisations, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action and Dundee City Council.

Furthermore, Dundee Bairns have successfully been working with the Council since the start of lockdown to meet food demand, distributing up to 740 packed lunches daily through their network of community organisations. This will continue during the holiday period.

Depute Convener of Dundee City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee and spokesperson on Finance, Councillor Willie Sawers, added: “The city-wide response to the Coronavirus emergency has been first rate. The support being carried out in a joint effort has made a real difference to people’s lives.

“We want to carry that on and protect individuals and families where we can. By continuing the food provision and distribution networks over the summer period we can ensure that everyone is provided for.”

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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