THE VALE of Glamorgan Council has sent food vouchers to the parents of 3,000 children after it emerged that a majority of pupils who were eligible for free school meals had not claimed them since schools were closed last month.

Though schools in the Vale have been closed for normal lessons since Monday March 23, many continued providing free meals.

But it was later discovered that only a small faction of these were being claimed.

Now the parents of the 3000 Vale pupils in receipt of free school meals have been sent vouchers, which can be used to purchase food from a local supermarket.

Arrangements were put in place for Tesco and Asda vouchers to be distributed and it is hoped a similar system can be established with other food outlets, including smaller operators located in the rural Vale.

Parents will receive a £39 voucher every fortnight, which equates to 10 school meals worth £3.90 for each eligible child.

Councillor Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “I have been immensely proud of the way council staff have responded to such difficult circumstances and there is no better example of that than within our Learning and Skills teams.

“In just two days staff working there have established a completely new system for administering free school meal provision so that no child goes without.

“Setting up this voucher system will help ensure a great many more children get the meals they are entitled to as only a small proportion were recently being claimed from schools.

“The need to develop this system so quickly inevitably means there will be some fine tuning along the way.

“With that in mind, I would ask parents to let us know if they experience any glitches in the system and thank them for their patience and appreciation of the difficult circumstances our staff are working in.”

For more information on changes to school services, visit the Vale Council website.