Welfare

31.03.20

Scheme launched for recipients of free school meals

 A new voucher scheme has been launched today (Mar 31) to protect families unable to claim their free school meals during school closures.

The national voucher scheme will provide every child, eligible for free school meals, a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to be redeemed at supermarkets.

During this time, when children and families stay at home where possible, eligible children are entitled to a voucher redeemable at many major supermarkets, with the Department for Education working to enlist more and more shops to the scheme.

Schools are still able to provide school meals for collection or delivery, but in many cases, this is not possible. In these cases, vouchers will be supplied electronically or by gift card to ensure children aren’t going hungry during this pandemic.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

"I recognise that the unprecedented action this Government is taking to protect the country from coronavirus, including closing schools, is dramatically affecting the lives of many families.

"I want to thank schools for the support they are continuing to provide to families during such uncertain times.

"No child should go hungry as a result of the measures introduced to keep people at home, protect the NHS and save lives. That’s why we are launching this 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.”

1.3 million children in the UK would receive free school meals at their school and the government is committed to maintaining this lifeline during this time.

With the news comes free guidance for schools, aiming to clarify doubts on how to issue the vouchers and to the right people.

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