More than £180,000 in supermarket vouchers have been given out to children and young people across the borough to help support them during the Christmas break.
The £30 vouchers have been given out by schools to more than 6,150 children who are eligible for free school meals.
Labour Councillor Kate Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Business said:
“No parent should worry about how to feed their children during the school holidays, but unfortunately too many families in St Helens Borough are living in poverty, and this has been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic. That is why we are taking a stand once again by stepping in to support families over the Christmas period. We know many people have been made more aware of this issue thanks to the amazing work of Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty campaign and we’re pleased to be able to support it again. It is so important that we give young people the best start in life to lay the foundations for them to go on to achieve their aims and goals in life, and that starts with the basics like having enough food to eat.
“We know that this year has been hard for many people and we also want to remind families that there is support for everyone. Through St Helens Together this year and working alongside our amazing charities and community groups we’ve shown that we can look out for each other. We don’t want anyone to struggle without food or other essentials so please do get in touch if you or anyone you know needs support.”
Families who receive free school meals are also encouraged to check whether they could also receive free Healthy Start Vouchers which are available every week to use to buy healthy food and get free vitamins. Find out more at www.healthystart.nhs.uk
To find out more about support over the Christmas period you can contact St Helens Together on 01744 676767. The phone line is open every day, including Christmas Day and bank holidays, from 8am to 10pm.
There are also a host of recipes giving people ideas on how to spend their vouchers at www.sthelens.gov.uk/recipes