Ensuring children are fed during COVID-19

North Lanarkshire Council is ensuring that vulnerable children don't go hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

When schools closed, North Lanarkshire Council made sure that all p1 to p3 pupils continued to receive their universal free school meal entitlement. A key priority was to reduce the impact of food insecurity on children’s health, wellbeing and learning throughout the pandemic. More than 17,700 families were issued with weekly vouchers via SMS text message to the value of £20 per eligible child to spend in local shops to tackle food poverty and boost local businesses.

From 24 June 2020, the council is moving to a new arrangement where support will be targeted at helping the most vulnerable in North Lanarkshire's communities. Around 8,000 low income families who qualify for free school meals based on income will receive weekly vouchers of £15 per child throughout the summer break.

Free packed lunches are being provided through the council's Club365 programme and can be accessed by eligible children from summer hubs to help address food poverty in low income families.

The council has provided school and childcare support from ten school hubs throughout North Lanarkshire for keyworkers' children. Hubs are open 7 days a week and a hot meal and snacks are provided.