Families across England are being offered free school meal vouchers, available to use at supermarkets during the Easter holidays.
Parents will receive a voucher of monetary value that varies depending on location and how your council distributes them.
The support is varied from council to council, and only those who are eligible will receive these vouchers.
In 2022, for the February half-term, Hounslow Council distributed a total of £130,000 worth of vouchers to help support eligible families.
These were vouchers worth £15 a week per child to spend on nutritious lunches during the school holidays. The vouchers were distributed through the online e-vouchers website or posted to families.
What are free school meals vouchers, and how does it work?
Free school meals vouchers are a scheme designed to help families financially, and ensure certain children are fed during school holidays. When the child is not at school, the child is not getting the free school meal, and this replaces the meal they would have received during the school day.
Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford campaigned relentlessly during the first Covid lockdown, alongside his football responsibilities for funding to stay, after it was revealed that free school meals were to be scrapped.
Where can the vouchers be redeemed?
Vouchers are redeemable at most of the big supermarkets in the UK, such as:
- John Lewis
- Marks and Spencer
However, this is generalised, and it is contingent on the terms and conditions outlined in the voucher issued by the school your child goes to, or your local council.
For more information on where these are redeemable, please contact your local authority.
Who is eligible for free school meals?
In London, criteria is set, and if you receive one of these benefits, your child is eligible for free school meals.
The benefits that parents must qualify for at least one are:
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Universal Credit and have an annual income of no more than £7,400
- Child Tax Credit, but not entitled to a Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) of no more than £16,190
- Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
- or are being supported by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
Again, this information is generalised, and may slightly alter from council to council, so get in touch with your local council, or visit their website for more information.
To find out what is available in your council area go to:
- Barking and Dagenham
- Barnet Borough Council
- London Borough of Bexley
- Brent Council
- Bromley Council
- Camden Council
- Croydon Council
- Ealing Council
- Enfield Council
- Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Hackney Council
- Hammersmith and Fulham
- Haringey Council
- Harrow Council
- Havering London Borough
- Hillingdon Council
- Hounslow Council
- Islington Council
- Kensington and Chelsea
- Kingston Council (upon Thames)
- Lambeth Council
- Lewisham Council
- Merton Council
- Newham Council
- Redbridge Council
- Richmond upon Thames
- Southwark Council
- Sutton Council
- Tower Hamlets Council
- Waltham Forest Council
- Wandsworth Council
- Westminster City Council
When are the Easter holidays?
The school holidays in London started on Monday, April 4, 2022, and children go back to school on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The day after Easter Monday.