Question from: County Councillor Matthew Dorrance Subject: Free School Meal Vouchers
I have been advised that the Free School Meal vouchers can be used to purchase tobacco and alcohol. Is this correct? If so, will the Cabinet Member explain why the scheme allows this and furthermore commit to take action that stops the vouchers being used for these purchases?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The voucher email that is sent to parents does advise that the vouchers are to be used to purchase food only. Some of the supermarkets have restricted items lists that prohibit purchases of tobacco and alcohol, however not all. We will advise the voucher provider to request all supermarkets have these restrictions in place when using these vouchers. With parents receiving BACS payments for free school meals, it is stated on their remittance advice that the payment is for Free School Meals. We can only advise that this allowance is used to purchase food.