Families whose children qualify for free school meals will get a food voucher of £20 per child for the February half-term, which they will receive through their schools, Herefordshire Council has announced.

“This will have a positive impact on low-income families and child poverty by minimising the debt burden on those that struggle to pay essential bills,” the council said in its decision.

It said the move would benefit over 4,500 children in the county, at a total cost estimated to be £93,000.

The money is part of the Government’s Household Support Fund, worth over £1.3 million to the county in total, with at least one third allocated to vulnerable households with children.

Councils have some leeway in how they spend the money locally.

Herefordshire Council has already given some of the fund money to community groups, which it describes as “existing trusted partners”, to provide help locally in the county, and has given food vouchers and emergency help to families directly.