Coronavirus: Free School Meals

LAST UPDATED: 1ST APRIL 2020, 13:10

Supporting children on free school meals

On the 31st of March, the Department for Education announced a new voucher scheme to ensure that the 1.3 million children who would normally receive free school meals will receive them.

We are doing this by:

  • Launching a national voucher scheme to make sure children who usually benefit from free school meals still have access to healthy and nutritious meals while they are not attending school. Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers worth £15 to families to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

  • Helping families with increased costs. The total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child exceeds the rate the Government pays to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

  • Making the process of providing meals to pupils eligible for free school meals as easy as possible for schools. Effective immediately, schools will be able to order vouchers directly from supermarkets or shops in their communities to be emailed or printed and posted to families, and they will have their costs covered by the Department for Education.