Over 1,300 Wigan children who qualify for a free school meal are missing out, according to the latest figures.
Now the council has launched a campaign to encourage applications from all those who are not taking up their entitlement.
Debbie Clarke, manager of Metrofresh, the council’s school meals provider, said: “It’s worrying that one in five of all entitled children are missing out on the chance of a nutritious hot daily meal.
“In these difficult economic times we believe there are people who simply don’t realise they could qualify, and they may not always live in the more deprived parts of the borough.
“We want to assure them there is no stigma attached to getting free school meals.”
Free school meals are provided for children whose parents get:
- Income Support;
- income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance;
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- the guaranteed part of Pension Credit;
- support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act;
- Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit, and whose income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) is £16,190 or less a year.
If you think your child is eligible you can get an application form by calling the benefits contact centre on 01942 828644 or download one from Free School Meals Section
They are also available at the Council Tax Offices in Whelley, Wigan and Leigh Housing offices, Leigh Town Hall, Wigan Civic Centre in Millgate or libraries at Ashton, Aspull, Atherton, Golborne, Ince, Orrell, Platt Bridge and Standish.