FAMILIES across Bolton will receive supermarket vouchers to help with the cost towards food over the half-term holiday.

A total of 15,000 children will be helped through the scheme to support youngsters eligible for free school meals.

Families will receive £20 of vouchers per child through the school.

Children aged up to five and eligible 16-to-19-year-olds will also receive the vouchers.

The programme is being funded by £300,000 from the new Household Support Fund, recently launched by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The cash is in addition to the £1 million which funded a summer holidays activities programme – holiday and food programme (HAF)

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said: “School holidays can be a challenging time for families struggling with the extra cost of food.

“Our local HAF programme has been set up to provide support during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays this year.

“This additional funding will also give families an extra helping hand this October half-term.”

HAF is only for earmarked for this Christmas as part of Covid recovery plans.

All children eligible will be offered places, but they are not compulsory.

Town hall officials can use up to 15 per cent of the programme funding for those not in receipt of free school meals for vulnerable children.

This could include those who are looked after.

Manchester United player Marcus Rashford led a high profile campaign to support youngsters through the school holidays.

And over the summer children in Bolton enjoyed activities throughout the break, which included a nutritious meal.