Many families are entitled to free school meals but are not claiming this support. During the COVID crisis there has also been a temporary extension of this support for families with NRPF (no recourse to public funds).
Free school meals support in the form of supermarket vouchers or food parcels will be provided over the summer holidays.
See the information below we have been sent to check if you can apply as soon as possible to your school or local authority so that you don’t miss out.
We also received this information from Greater London Authority Food Policy Officer:
Find out more about the qualifying benefits for free school meals eligibility and how to claim them by visiting:
Citizens Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/
The Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/benefits
An information sheet produced by Project 17 that for parents to help them identify as NRPF:https://www.project17.org.uk/media/109603/FSM-information-sheet-May-2020-.pdf
EdenRed guidance for parents on how and where they can use their free school meal vouchers: https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/DfE/DfE_FreeSchoolMeals_ParentCarerFAQs.pdf
Parents and carers can contact Edenred via firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries regarding their vouchers.
Guidance for schools
The Covid Summer Food Fund will ensure eligible children registered for free school meals by 10 July can continue to access support over the summer holidays.
The Government has published guidance (available HERE) which states:
Schools can support eligible pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the 6-week holiday period (or a £105 voucher for a 7-week holiday period).
Any child currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals or who becomes eligible during the summer term is eligible for the Covid Summer Food Fund. Schools should check which pupils are eligible and in receipt of benefits-related free school meals before ordering vouchers through the Fund. Schools can continue to accept and verify free school meal applications up until the end of the summer term.
If schools have used the Edenred portal to order vouchers during term time, they should use the same Edenred account to order vouchers from the summer holidays. There is no separate portal for the Covid Summer Food Fund.
If schools have made alternative arrangements, they can claim through the exceptional costs fund in the autumn, providing they have ordered their alternative supermarket vouchers one week before their school term ends.
Edenred has updated its step-by-step guide for schools to order vouchers for the summer holidays. The guide is available HERE and schools can contact Edenred with any queries at email@example.com
Schools should order vouchers at least one week before their school term ends, and they will be issued to parents and carers within 7 days. For example, schools closing on 17 July must place orders for all vouchers by 10 July. If a school receives a claim for an eligible child in the week between the final ordering date and the start of the school’s summer holidays, it will be possible for the school to place an exceptional order for that child via the Edenred system.
The Government has temporarily extended free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Guidance on the temporary extension is available HERE.