THE families of more than 8,000 pupils in Swansea who are eligible for free school meals are continuing to be supported during the current lockdown.
Parents and carers who take-up the option have a choice over how they access this support either via direct payments to their bank accounts or by receiving weekly food parcels.
Thanks to Welsh Government funding this will also continue during the February half-term and the Easter holidays.
To apply for free school meals in Swansea visit: www.swansea.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals
Queries relating to the payments and parcels for eligible children can be directed to FSMpayments@swansea.gov.uk
Families unable to access the internet can phone 01792 636611.
Most families have chosen to have direct payments but for those who have decided to have food parcels, these offer a wide range of products and parents and carers can choose vegetarian, vegan or halal options for their children should they wish.
Swansea Council has also implemented a groundbreaking practice for Wales by negotiating with the Home Office to make payments to the pre-paid cards accessed by asylum-seeking children welcomed to the area.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Jennifer Raynor, said:
“Sadly but unsurprisingly given the pandemic, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of families who qualify for free school meals.
“Our staff from Benefits, IT, Education, Finance and Catering have worked closely together throughout this pandemic to ensure all applications are quickly processed and that qualifying families who apply are supported.
“Since the pandemic began they have also moved quickly to respond to schools closing and other challenges, often at very short notice, to put support in place.
“If there are parents or carers who are not currently receiving free school meal support but believe they may qualify then I would urge them to apply.
“I would also like to thank the Welsh Government for the additional funding that has been provided throughout the pandemic towards the additional cost, to ensure children do not go hungry during the school holidays.”