A COUNTY councillor has pushed for action to help ensure those in receipt of free school meals funding as part of the coronavirus crisis do not miss out.

Coun. Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, became concerned after it transpired that some schools were unable to access the government’s voucher scheme, which allows them to provide meals for disadvantaged pupils when schools are closed.

The IT systems of some supermarkets had been unable to cope with the demand, while other towns and villages do not have outlets of companies involved in the scheme.

Coun. Stewart said: “Our communities have rallied together quickly and the schools have been a vital part of this.

“However, I was concerned that the stores named may be some distance from many communities and this causes additional expense and travel.

“It would appear the IT systems in place within a few larger companies were not able to cope with the scheme, but now this is being dealt with at a higher priority. Schools have worked closely with local shops to overcome the snags at the initial stage, with most teething issues now sorted. Families are grateful for the additional support.”