WITH just two weeks of the school holidays left, Fife Council is reminding families in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area on low incomes to apply for free school meals and help towards buying school clothing.

The council has automatically re-awarded grants to over 7,000 pupils and has written to around 5,000 more families identified as being eligible, to let them know they can now apply for these grants for the 2020-21 financial year.

Councillor Fay Sinclair, convener – education and children’s services committee, said: “Sadly too many children in Fife are living in poverty and too many families are finding it hard to make ends meet and this has been made even harder as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re entitled to this bit of help, please make sure you apply.

"Over 7,000 pupils will automatically be awarded the £100 school clothing grant, and we’ll be proactively contacting 5,000 more families to let them know they may be eligible".

Ms Sinclair added: “Don’t forget to apply for the school clothing grant separately if your child automatically gets free school meals because they’re in P1-3.”

To find out if you’re entitled to this help and apply online visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/schoolbenefits

If you need help completing the application form, contact the Benefits & Council Tax Team online at www.fife.gov.uk/contactrevenues or call 03451 55 11 55.

If you don’t already receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you will need to provide evidence of your income. To qualify for free school meals and school clothing grant, you must receive one of the following: Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based),

Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), Child Tax Credit only with annual income below £16,105, Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit with annual income below £7,330, Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999, Universal Credit including those with a take home of pay of up to £610 per month, Long Term Incapacity Benefit (school clothing grant only, Widows Allowance if not in full time employment (school clothing grant only), Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit with annual income below £16,105 (school clothing grant only).

If you don’t meet this criteria but your child is in P1-3, they can still receive free school meals. Free school milk will only be given if the above criteria is met.