Raising awareness and uptake – temporary extension to free school meals for some families with no recourse to public funds:
It’s important to make sure as many families as possible are aware of the support available to them during this difficult time and continue to register for free school meals, particularly if they have not done so before.
Please do share the following resources with all parents within your school community to ensure they know the eligibility criteria for free school meals, understand how to apply and are aware of the
Find out more about the qualifying benefits for free school meals eligibility and how to claim them by visiting:
See Project 17 Information sheet which can be sent to parents.
How and Where can parents use their vouchers?
EdenRed guidance for parents on how and where they can use their free school meal vouchers. Parents and carers can also contact Edenred via freeschoolmealsparentscare
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 protected]
- 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.
Food insecurity during Covid-19
Last year, the Mayor of London’s Survey of Londoners revealed 1.5 million adults and 400,000 children in London were experiencing food insecurity and struggling to access an affordable, healthy diet before Covid-19. The national picture will be similar.
The pandemic has made it harder for millions of families to afford essentials including food. Research in April showed 1 million households with children experienced food insecurity after just a month of lockdown in London and 200,000 children across the UK had skipped meals during lockdown because their families couldn’t afford or access enough food.
Featured image photo credit: Dan Gold – Unsplash