Children and young people who are eligible for free school meals will get extra support during the February half-term as a result of additional funding.

Northumberland County Council has committed £275,000 to ensure those who receive free school meals will get an additional £15 for the week starting February 15.

This means the 9,186 children and young people who receive free school meals will get a total of £30 during half-term.

Coun. Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said: "We are topping up the government Winter Grant funding to give those children and young people eligible for free school meals additional help during the half-term break.

"We recognise how difficult it can be for some families in the county at this time and we are committed to doing all we can to support them."

Coun. Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, said: "This increase will provide welcome relief for so many families."

160 more children and young people have applied for free school meals since January.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Northumberland County Council's Executive Director with responsibility for Adult and Children’s services, said: "It has been a really difficult year for many, and personal circumstances may have changed.

"This is exactly why this support is there, to support those families who need it right now."