The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting almost every household in many different ways. While some people have to work from home and adjust their lifestyle, others are struggling with finances and managing to look after their family. For example, there are parents in the UK that are having trouble feeding their children due to low incomes, made worse by furlough or job loss.
Free School Lunches a Necessity for Many
There are many households across the country that rely on free school meals to feed their children. This can be due to being unemployed or on a low income. Indeed, if your child has been in year 1 or year 2, you are able to get free school meals when they are at a state school. It does not matter how much you earn. But if you are on the following benefits, your child can receive free lunches:
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Universal credit
Of course, due to the pandemic, schools have not been open for education. This means that many families have not had access to free school lunches. Parents have had to deal with not only educating their children at home, but also trying to provide for them which has placed a large burden on many families already living day to day, week to week. Unfortunately, many are unable to cope with this burden during this difficult time and some children are going hungry. This includes skipping meals and having to ration food. A lot of people assume that hunger is not a problem in a country like the United Kingdom. But this pandemic shows that anyone can be at risk from hardships regardless of background or status.
Help is Being Offered
It is important to remember that there are people out there that want to help. For example, find out more about Tej Kohli and what he is doing to help children in the UK during this time. He and his foundation are offering food support to local people in a sustainable way. This includes food parcels given to charities and organisations for those that need it, as well as educational items to help children while they are unable to attend school.
There are also schools that are able to provide food packages during the coronavirus too. Instead of receiving school meals, parents are able to have packages delivered or ready to collect. While this is not every school, it is now possible to apply for free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic. You can apply for vouchers and this can be used at stores for purchasing food. This is helping parents with the financial burdens that are being made worse by COVID-19.
The good news is that it will be possible to use these vouchers through the summer holiday period, which runs for around six weeks. There have been some technical problems that have caused delays for families, which has not helped. But it is to be hoped that the schemes will get better as the demands ease and life begins to move on to some semblance of normality. Schools are believed to be heading back for the start of the new educational year and this will come as a relief to many parents struggling with finances.