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Free School Meal provision will change to bank transfer from April 6

Written by on 30th March 2020

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Council’s emergency provision of Free School Meals will change from April 6, with a cash payment made by bank transfer replacing the current packed lunch system – and residents MUST now re-apply to receive it.

Following the closure of all schools for statutory education in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Council put in place immediate arrangements for pupils entitled to Free School Meals. Currently, a cold meal provision of a lunch and breakfast is being provided for collection each weekday by parents/carers at their local primary school (11am to midday). This arrangement will change from Monday, April 6

In response to changing demand during this period, from Monday, April 6, a cash payment will instead be made to parents’/carers’ bank accounts.

The entitlement for eligible pupils within Rhondda Cynon Taf is £3.90 per day – which equates to £19.50 per week. Payments will be made each Monday.

This payment is instead of a Free School Meal, and parents/carers are expected to use the money for the benefit of their eligible child/children.

The Council is now writing to parents/carers of eligible pupils to explain the arrangements for re-applying.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “The emergency provision of a packed lunch for pupils eligible for Free School Meals was made immediately after all schools closed for statutory education – to ensure the Council could act very quickly in bringing this vital provision forward.

Having now re-assessed the current need, the Council – along with all other Local Authorities in Wales – will be moving away from a packed lunch system. In Rhondda Cynon Taf, this will be replaced by a cash payment by bank transfer.

The current packed lunch provision will continue up until Friday, April 3. Parents/carers should apply for the new payment as soon as they receive a letter from the Council, to ensure they receive the first payment on April 6.”