Kirklees Council is to provide free school meal vouchers to thousands of local families throughout the summer holidays.
Over 15,000 children and young people are eligible for the vouchers, which will help to tackle school-holiday hunger for the full six weeks.
At £15 per child per week, the scheme is worth around £1.4 million and continues the support that the council has provided to families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “Once again we are showing our enormous commitment to children, young people and families.
“Life continues to be incredibly tough for many people, especially those who are disadvantaged, and we want to reduce this inequality while helping our children to have the best start in life.
“A healthy diet is so important for mental and physical wellbeing and, in the long term, it can have a huge, positive impact on a young person’s life chances.
“The school meals system offers a welcome lifeline to thousands of families across Kirklees. The risk of hunger does not go away at the end of a school term, so it was a very easy decision for us to provide vouchers for all eligible families during the long summer holidays.
“Kirklees Council will administer the scheme, in conjunction with schools and settings, with funding from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Clr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, schools across Kirklees have done fantastic work in providing education and care under the most testing of circumstances.
“We have stood alongside them in offering support to our families. We know the difference this is making in helping children to stay healthy, achieve good outcomes and fulfil their potential.
“Financial hardship is very real, and continuing, for thousands of Kirklees families. By allocating this funding, we will provide a way for them to feed their children when schools gates are closed.
“There are many other ways that we can help those in our communities who may be in difficulty – if you are struggling, please get in touch with us.”
Full details of the financial support available can be found at www.kirklees.gov.uk/coronavirus