Coronavirus: Free school meals and support for children and families in Camden
Following the Government’s announcement that schools would close from Friday, 20 March, the Council has been putting plans in place to ensure additional support is available for children and families and all pupils that are entitled to will continue to receive free school meals.
During this crisis, we are committed to ensuring no one gets left behind and as schools prepared to close last week, we have been working closely with them to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and to find ways of helping those who would be most affected.
For some families in Camden, this includes the vital provision of free school meals. We are working closely with our main school food supplier, Caterlink to ensure children continue to receive free school meals until schools reopen, as no one should have to go hungry as a result of COVID-19.
Our Camden Family Early Help team will also be offering a family check-in service whilst schools are closed to further support children and families who may be more vulnerable during this time. Our teams will be checking to make sure families have access to essentials such as food, medicine and supplies and connecting them to those who can help, if needed.
I would also like to thank all our schools and staff who have been working exceptionally hard in difficult circumstances and continue to do so for children and young people of critical workers and vulnerable children.
The Council has also been working alongside the borough’s community groups, charities and businesses to ensure everyone has access to food whether they are unwell, isolating, caring as well as those who need it most.
This includes setting up a dedicated COVID-19 response team to ensure no one goes hungry as a result of this pandemic, developing a digital database to match community needs to offers of support from the Council, volunteers and social action groups, and working to support food bank networks across the borough.
Children attending school, whether deemed vulnerable or the children of key workers are currently being provided food on site irrespective of their Free School Meal eligibility.
Pupils entitled to Free School Meals but not currently attending schools have been able to collect packed lunches. For the majority of schools the authority will be moving to food parcels from Thursday (26 March) for those entitled to Free School Meals but not attending school. These would be collected on a weekly or two weekly basis. This will enable less regular collection in response to the latest guidance on social distancing. Specific arrangements will be shared with schools directly.
More information about free school meals can be found at https://www.camden.gov.uk/schools-children-and-families
The Camden Early Help Family Check-in service will be for families with children aged 0-19. Find out more about support for children and families on our website.
For any questions regarding the family check-in please contact 0207 974 4837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the latest information and advice on the Coronavirus at https://www.camden.gov.uk/COVID-19