Crawley Borough Council is developing a local scheme to provide free school meals to every eligible child this Christmas. To help fund this, the council has just launched a crowdfunding page, with the council seeking to match-fund community donations.
Residents and businesses are being asked to donate money, which will be used to provide supermarket vouchers for families entitled to free school meals over the two-week Christmas holiday. In the summer, the government’s voucher scheme was for £15 per child per week.
In January, 2,511 children in Crawley were entitled to free school meals, a number which will have grown significantly over the course of the pandemic. The council is now working with local schools to identify the total number of eligible children for this Christmas.
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “We want to ensure that no child goes hungry this Christmas, but with local authority finances decimated by Covid-19, we can’t do it alone.
“We’ve seen this week just how many Crawley residents believe the government’s decision to withdraw these meals from struggling families was wrong, now we need your help to do something about it. I would hope that large local businesses who have recently made many of these parents redundant might also consider what support they can afford to provide.
To donate, visit https://my.crawley.gov.uk/service/Crawley_Free_School_Meals