Free school meals during the holidays have been saved thanks to a last-minute half a million pound government grant - however the future of the scheme remains in doubt.

Children in Bracknell Forest who get free school meals during term time will also get supermarket vouchers of £15 a week during the holidays. Meanwhile, some people struggling with council tax will get help to reduce or write off their debt.

The measures are designed to help people with the cost of living using grant funding Bracknell Forest Council has been given by the government. Councillor Megan Wright said the money is a ‘lifeline’ to people struggling in the cost of living crisis.

She said: “It keeps children fed during the school holidays, people warm during cold spells and gives people their dignity.”

In total, Bracknell Forest Council has been given £555,468.03 in the latest instalment of the household support grant from the Department for Work and Pensions.

More than £200,000 of it will go towards vouchers for children on free school meals during the holidays. Some £20,000 will also go towards helping some 35 households with council tax arrears or housing benefit overpayments that have been identified as ‘at risk.’

However the money is only meant to cover six months of spending – from April 1 to September 31. After that, there will be a new wait to see if the government decides to carry on with the household support grant scheme.

The latest instalment was only confirmed in March after councils including Bracknell Forest called on the government not to end the funding.