Birmingham City Council financial challenges - time to Reset

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February 2024 half-term supermarket vouchers

About the supermarket vouchers

We are working with Sodexo, Pluxee, and Education to distribute supermarket vouchers up to the value of £20 to families, children and young people.

These are a one-off vouchers for February 2024 half-term, because we know that children are particularly susceptible to holiday hunger during February half-term.

Vouchers will be available for the following children:

  • all children on free school meals
  • all children who go to the 318 schools located in the 20% most deprived areas in England, according to the income deprivation affecting children index (a subdomain of the index for multiple deprivation 2019)

This amounts to supporting more than 160,000 children this February half-term.

We are using the Household Support Fund, a ring-fenced national grant which can only be used to support vulnerable people.

Find out more about the Household Support Fund

If you are not sure why you have received a voucher, contact the education setting that distributed the voucher to you.

Deadline for redeeming and using your voucher

In your voucher email you will find your deadline to redeem and use your £20 voucher.

To make sure you do not miss out, redeem your voucher as soon as you can.

About holiday hunger

Holiday hunger is the name used when children and families are unable to afford sufficient nutritious food during school holidays.

Evidence shows that many families struggle to feed their children during the school holidays, resulting in foodbank use and parents skipping meals as a ‘coping strategy’ so that their children will be fed over the school holidays.

Persistent or repeated episodes of holiday hunger have a negative effect on children’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and has an adverse impact on their attainment and achievement when at school.

Holiday hunger was a key issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, with voices like Marcus Rashford and Jamie Oliver calling for more support for children nationally to prevent holiday hunger.

The main result of this is that we still have the Holidays, Activities and Food (HAF) programme in place post-COVID. In Birmingham, this programme is known as 'Bring it on Brum' which provides a buffer against holiday hunger for children in Birmingham.

However, nationally, the Holidays, Activities and Food programme only runs in the main school holidays, that is to say, Christmas, Easter and summer, and does not operate during half-term holidays.


Page last updated: 20 February 2024.

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