Over 4,650 children in Herefordshire are set to receive free school meals throughout the upcoming summer holidays.

This much-needed assistance arrives as part of a food voucher scheme funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) via the government's Household Support Fund, aiming to provide much-needed relief to financially strained families.

According to Councillor Ivan Powell, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, primary and secondary schools will contact parents and carers before the summer holidays to inform them of their entitlement to the free school meal vouchers and provide details on how to collect them.

Children, both primary and secondary school pupils, who receive benefits-related free school meals, will be provided with a food voucher worth up to £90. This sum is meant to cover the cost of a lunchtime meal throughout the summer holidays. Children eligible for the early years pupil premium who aren't in a school setting will have their voucher posted directly from the council.

Parents who believe their child might be eligible for this programme but haven't yet heard from their school are encouraged to reach out directly. To check eligibility and apply, visit the free school meals page on the council's website.

In addition, useful tips on maximising the benefit of the free school meals food voucher at home are available at biteback2030.com/real-story/making-your-ps15-free-school-meal-voucher-go-further-home.

Furthermore, children aged between five and 16, who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals, can enjoy free activities this summer through the Here for Herefordshire Holidays programme. More information on this programme can be accessed at talkcommunity.org/holidayactivities.

For further details about the Herefordshire free school meals scheme for the summer holidays, please visit herefordshire.gov.uk/holidaysfsm.