Cornwall Council has received funding that will mean it can continue to offer free school meals during the holidays.

The Department for Work and Pensions has extended its Household Support Fund (HSF) for this winter during the final stages of its economic recovery plans.

It covers the period from October 6, 2021, to March 31, 2022, meaning that free school meals will continue to be provided for eligible children during the Christmas holidays and February half term.

The Cornwall Council says the the £4,528,569 awarded will also enable it to support the households in most need with food, energy and water bills, as well as other essential costs.

Barbara Ellenbroek, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said: "This money from the Government will help us to continue to support those most in need over the coming winter.

"It also allows us to commit to our provision of free school meals in the holidays for the foreseeable future – it has already covered October half-term and will mean that we can also give a voucher of £15 per eligible child, per week, during the Christmas holidays and February half-term."

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Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said: "This funding is designed to help those most in need in our communities over what we know could be a difficult winter as we continue to emerge from the pandemic.

"This money is being provided by government to local authorities like Cornwall Council so we can make sure it reaches those who really need it."

The funding is on top of other grants provided to local authorities during the pandemic, such as the Emergency Assistance Grant, Covid Winter Grant scheme and the Covid Local Support Grant.

The Government claims that at least 50 per cent of the total funding will be ring-fenced to support households with children, with the remainder going to help other households in need of support this winter.

The money will be spent through the identification of existing requests for support and referrals from professionals and organisations.