The council has moved to reassure parents and families that no schoolchild will go hungry in Warrington, in the wake of concerns raised around the quality of national free school meal parcels.

All of Warrington’s schools are issuing food vouchers to those eligible to provide support to families, with additional food parcels also being provided by school kitchens.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Russ Bowden and Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Matt Smith, said:

“We want to reassure parents following concerns raised about the standard of the food parcels being provided nationally, to children eligible for free school meals in some parts of the country during the current lockdown.

“Some of the pictures we have seen of the food parcels provided by the national contractor – awarded to by the government - have been really saddening. Our children need the best, most healthy start to life, for their wellbeing and to be successful learners. A child cannot concentrate properly on a grumbling stomach and we believe that parents should not be exposed to extra anxiety at what is already a very difficult time.

“We are pleased to say that all of Warrington’s schools are providing supermarket vouchers for eligible children, with a small number of food parcels being produced by school kitchens for those families where a voucher isn’t suitable.

“The cost of basic food is going up and families are under so much pressure, and we really hope that the vouchers issued by Warrington schools provide the support our children and families need. They enable parents to make the most of the £15 per week funding available and also to make the right choices for their children.”

For any queries related to free school meals, please contact your child’s school in the first instance. For other education queries related to the council, please contact the Education Services team at education@warrington.gov.uk