A FOOD voucher scheme for hard-hit families in North Yorkshire is being extended.

The county council's Covid Winter Grant Scheme provided food voucher payments to parents and carers in receipt of free school meals, as well as those hit financially by the Covid pandemic, to help meet the extra cost of food and other essentials over the school holidays.

The scheme has now ended, but following a recent Government announcement, payments will continue this May half-term holiday, through the Department for Work and Pensions’ Covid Local Support Grant.

Funding for the supermarket vouchers is now being sent out by the county council to schools, including academies, as well as early years providers, child minders and care leavers.

The vouchers can be spent by eligible parents in supermarkets and amount to £15 per child, for the week.

Cllr Patrick Mulligan said: “We are very grateful to the schools, nurseries and child minders for their continued help in distributing the vouchers to parents and carers in need of this support.

"We know the vouchers help ease the pressure on families when they are faced with increased food costs when children are not in school.”

Any families not eligible for Free School Meals who are struggling financially can apply to the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund at northyorks.gov.uk/nylaf