Schoolchildren across Exmouth will benefit from a £5million grants scheme now available.

The scheme, supported by UK community charity Groundwork, will replace the current Tesco Community Grants funding programme. It will focus on getting schools who lack funds and resources to apply for extra financial help they might need to provide healthy food and activities that boost young people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

This new initiative will enable Exmouth schools to apply for support funding of up to £1,500 to get pupils and resources to keep them physically active by using new sports and play equipment or outdoor activities.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO, said: “Tackling classroom hunger is vitally important in helping children get a stronger start in life. Children with enough food have more energy, better concentration and ultimately do better in school.

“As a business that is at the heart of communities, we know that urgent action is needed to improve the lives and prospects of young people. We hope our initiative will help families and schools that are struggling to keep children fed.”

Successful applications will go to a customer vote in their local Tesco store. Two out of the three blue token voting boxes by the checkout will be dedicated to local schools with the third given over to community projects nominated by each store’s colleagues. Exmouth customers can then choose which of the three projects they’d like to support by voting with a blue token.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “Schools are at the heart of our communities, and we have supported thousands of projects led by teachers and parents. We know that schools are now doing everything they can to help families cope with the rising cost of living, but that school budgets are also under huge pressure.

“We’re really pleased that through the Tesco programme we can now focus attention on helping schools provide extra support to those who need it most – helping families make ends meet and helping children learn and flourish.”