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Free food vouchers for the Christmas holiday 2021
We are writing to you to confirm our plans to provide food vouchers for 30,000 children and young people across the city for the Christmas holiday.
The Government has provided a Household Support Grant to assist with food and energy costs over the winter period. Sheffield City Council recognises that many families continue to face financial difficulties because of the pandemic and changes to Universal Credit, and we know that Christmas is a particularly difficult time for families, with extra costs for food and energy.
A £50 food voucher will be sent to the following groups to help over the Christmas holiday:
• Families who claim income based Free School Meals
• Families who get income assessed Early Years Support (2-4 Year Olds)
• Young people leaving their care setting (Care Leavers)
We have chosen to continue to use Edenred as the supplier of the vouchers again as schools and parent/carers are familiar with the two-step process involved in downloading the vouchers.
• We aim to have the voucher letters sent out to parents by second class post, and parents will receive them w/c Monday 6th December. The letter will include the website link for Edenred and clear instructions on how to download the voucher, and we are asking parents get in touch with their school/establishment in the first instance if they need help with downloading or printing their vouchers. We are also providing them with the contact details for Edenred.
• During week commencing 6th December we will send schools an unredeemed eCodes list via Anycomms. This will identify all the children at your school that have received a food voucher letter for Christmas, enabling you to support any families that you know need some extra help.
• This list will include unredeemed eCode information for October half term 2021.
• Any child/young person that becomes eligible for a food voucher between 26th November – 19th December will be sent a voucher letter over the Christmas holiday period.
o As before, parents/carers need to go to the following website to redeem their October vouchers - www.selectyourcompliment.co.uk/grocery
o Enter their unique 16-digit e-Code and select their chosen supermarket. Edenred give them a choice of 10 supermarkets: Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, McColl’s, Iceland and Farmfoods.
o Parents/Carers are able to download their vouchers for more than one supermarket. For example, £10 for Aldi and £5 for Asda.
o The downloaded E-Gift Card/Voucher will arrive by email within 24 hours. If they can’t find this, they should check their Junk/Spam folder
Please note codes need to be activated within 3 months or they will be cancelled. Once they have claimed their voucher on the Edenred website the voucher will be valid for 12 months.
We will again provide schools with a short ‘How to...’ video for parents that you can put on your school website/social media if you wish. The instructions on how to download the video will be sent directly to Headteachers and Business Managers in a separate email.
Where can families get further help?
• The FSM Voucher helpline will be available on 0114 2734567, option 4, option 3, and can offer help to parents experiencing difficulties with their e-Codes or with general FSM enquiries.
• Parents/carers can also contact Edenred directly with an enquiry about an eCode or voucher at email@example.com or telephone 0333 400 5932
• Schools can contact Edenred at firstname.lastname@example.org
• For those schools that have asked to distribute their own voucher letters to parents, we will send you a list of all eligible children in your school along with their individual letters. You will need to maintain auditable distribution records of these codes for future reference.
If you have any concerns about the plans for the Christmas food vouchers, or would like to discuss the arrangements for your school further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at email@example.com
Please note: If a parent is facing financial hardship there is free advice and support available at www.citizensadvicesheffield.org.uk or call on 0808 278 7820. They can also find further information about support at:
The catering at Stocksbridge High School is provided on site by Taylor Shaw and is part of Elior Group specialising in providing fresh, healthy food.
Taylor Shaw is one of the UK’s leading specialist caterers in the education section. They provide freshly prepared food that contributes to the wellbeing of young people in their learning environment. If your son or daughter has a particular dietary requirement do let them know and they will do their best to cater for this.
At Stocksbridge High School, we also believe that good nutrition and nourishment is key to optimal teaching and learning. As such, our services include a mid-morning break service and lunch.
The provision of free school meals (FSM) for those who qualify helps to ensure that most children have at least one balanced, nutritious meal during the school day, irrespective of parental income. The range of choices for all pupils, either paying or entitled to free school meals is the same. Each day the catering services in school provide a range of choices of hot meals, filled jacket potatoes and baguettes, fruit and even pack lunches can be provided.
Biometric Cashless System
It is recognised that the service provided needs to be quick and friendly, as pupils want to get in, eat and still have time to socialise. To this end the school uses a Biometric Cashless System, with each pupil having a personalised account.
The key features of the system are:
• Pupils in receipt of free school meals are not identifiable, which can help to avoid a pupil being stigmatised.
• Pupils do not need to remember to bring cash with them to the canteen and therefore nothing can be lost.
• Detailed usage of the system per individual pupil (date and time of use) is available.
• Parents can find out how much their children are spending and what they are eating, if desired. Parents may request the system to be programmed to prevent their child from purchasing certain items, using a particular facility or exceeding an agreed daily spending limit. Pupils with allergies can be restricted from buying items that will adversely affect them.
Free School Meals
Are you eligible to apply for Free School Meals for your child?
If you are eligible, please make sure you apply – your child will get free meals and the school will also benefit from extra funding.
If the following applies to you, make sure you get your entitlement.
Children and young people who:
• Attend full time at a local authority school or sixth form
• Are under 19 years of age
If you have a child attending a Sheffield school or maintained nursery and receive these benefits, you may be entitled to free school meals:
• Universal credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
• Income support
• Income based jobseeker’s allowance
• Income related employment support allowance
• Support under part vi of the immigration and asylum act 1999
• The guaranteed element of state pension credit
• Child tax credit as long as you have a yearly household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by hm revenue and customs) and do not get working tax credit
• Working tax credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit)
In addition, the following pupils will be protected against losing their free school meals as follows:
• From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time.
• In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period.
• Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e. Primary or secondary).
Please see the Sheffield City Council web page for full information on how to apply for free school meals.
Remember that children on free school meals are automatically entered onto our cashless computer system. Only the school computer will know which child is on free school meals, and accounts are credited automatically each day.
If you would like more information, or help completing an application form, please contact the school’s Business Support Manager (Mrs Parkin) who will be happy to help.