Decision details

Decision to support families with children entitled to free school meals by providing a food vouchers during the school Christmas Holidays.

Decision Maker: Director of Resources and Assurance

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The free school meal system is an important component of the support that is provided to low-income families. Providing vouchers in the school holidays for children entitled to free school meals is an extension to this support and will benefit over 4,650 children. Through this proposal, primary and secondary aged school pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals will receive a food voucher of £30 for the school Christmas Holidays.

Household Consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing cost (CPIH), were 6.3% higher in September 2023 than a year before. Low-income households spend a larger proportion than average on energy and food so will be more affected by price increases.

Herefordshire Council has received an allocation of £2,659,203.57 from the Department of Works and Pensions under the Household Support Fund. The expectation is that the funding should be used primarily to support households in the most need, particularly those including children and pensioners who would otherwise struggle with energy, food and water bills as well as other essential costs.

By utilising the funding from government, this will have a positive impact on low income families and child poverty by minimising the debt burden on those that struggle to pay essential bills.

Contact: Andrew Lovegrove, Director of Resources and Assurance Email:

Publication date: 16/11/2023

Date of decision: 10/11/2023

Accompanying Documents: