Posted: Thu 25th Jun 2020

Technical glitch with free school meal payments will leave some Flintshire mums struggling

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 25th, 2020

Parents of almost 4,000 school children eligible for school meals payments must wait until next week for vital food cash because of a technical glitch.

The 3,863 children eligible for the scheme in Flintshire receive £19.50 per child per week, payable weekly by bank transfer.

However, parents already rocked by the economic problems caused by the pandemic have not received their payments which were due today because of problems with the system.

They will now have to wait until Monday for the cash, leaving some parents struggling to make weekly shops.

Single parent Josie Towers said she hadn’t received the payments for daughter Minnie, aged 10, and son Jake, aged 11.

She works part-time as a child care assistant at a local playgroup but has been on furlough since the pandemic started.

Miss Towers, who is an admin for a Facebook page for mums in Flintshire, said some mothers would be struggling because of the late payment.

She added: “A few mums are worried about affording the weekly food shop and feeding their families as they rely on the payments.”

A spokeswoman for Flintshire council said: “There has been a technical issue with the payment run for free school meal payments this week.

Josie Towers with daughter Millie and son Jake

“This has meant that no payments have been received this week.

“This problem has been quickly identified and we will re-run the payments today but due to the banks not processing payments over the weekend, this will be in bank accounts on Monday.”

Across North Wales more than 17,000 children receive the payments which Welsh Government promised in March would continue through the summer months.

In England it took a well publicised campaign by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford to get the Government to overturn its decision to stop payments through the summer months.

Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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