Council launches packed lunch service for schoolchildren

Published: 23 April 2020

Redbridge Council has launched a scheme to provide packed lunches for around 1,700 children who are entitled to free school meals, but who aren’t attending school due to the COVIV-19 pandemic.


Following delays with the national voucher scheme to provide  food to children the council’s schools service decided to take early action.


Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council commented, “It is so important that young people eat a healthy and balanced diet, especially while they’re still growing. While schools are closed for the majority of local children, we want to make sure those relying on school meals aren’t missing out.


There have been delays with the national service to provide school lunches so our Council decided to step in and provide food ourselves. I want to thank all our staff, local schools and partners for their ongoing support – this has been a real team effort.”


Councillor Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our schools' service has worked wonders to ensure this support reaches those who are eligible quickly.”


“At very short notice, we’ve been able to start supplying families with school lunches for their children. Next week, in addition to healthy nutritious food, we’ll be adding a £5 voucher for each child so parents can purchase any additional food their child might need.


“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve had from our meal providers and local schools who have worked hard to get the scheme up and running so quickly.”


Parents, whose children are entitled to a free school meal, can collect a week’s worth of ingredients to make light lunches, with dessert, from a local school.


Eligible parents have been sent an email or text messages telling them when and where they can collect their packs.


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