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Free School Meals for those legible for benefits-related meals

Dear Parents and Carers,


Free School Meals for those legible for benefits-related meals


You may have seen on the news this week that the Government are almost ready to launch the National Voucher Scheme for children that are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.  We have had several calls and emails about this.  Below is some more information, but as you will see when you read this I do not have the full details yet.  Please DO NOT email or ring again with queries, I will be in touch with you in the next few weeks when I know more.


I have discussed the vouchers with North Lincolnshire catering and we have decided we will be applying for the vouchers on your behalf and then organise for you to get these.  We have an up-to-date list of who is eligible.



Please note the vouchers are only available in term time weeks.  Therefore, we will begin this after the Easter holiday and continue to give out the grocery bags for a further 2 weeks on a Wednesday. 



The national voucher scheme

The national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers will be through ‘Edenred’.  Schools will apply for these and when we have received them the voucher will be made available to the adult with caring responsibility for that child. 


I am waiting to receive the details, which have been promised to schools in the next 2 days.  The information I have received says I will be able to set a weekly £15 rolling voucher per child.  I will be able to combine the funding where a family has more than one child eligible, i.e. 3 children – the parent will get a £45 voucher each week.


We will receive an ‘eCode’ which we will be able to forward on to parents through email addresses.  When I have more details we will be in touch to ensure we have a correct email address. 

Through Edenred, we can currently access eGift cards for the following supermarkets:

  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Asda
  • Waitrose
  • M&S

I believe I will need to choose one supermarket, but again I need more information.  Once families have received their voucher, they will be able to redeem them in-store at the selected retailer by either:

  • presenting the voucher on a smartphone or tablet
  • presenting a paper copy of the voucher


Families will be free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. When selecting products, we encourage families to consider health and nutrition. The School Food Standards may act as a useful guide for families.

The vouchers should not be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.

There are a number of online resources available to support families in preparing healthy and nutritious food, including on the NHS Eat Well website.


Be aware of scam emails

The Government have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.



What about infants that receive a free meal under universal infant free school meals?

The Government and schools are concentrating their effort and resources on those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals at this time. There is no requirement to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in reception, year 1, or year 2 who are unable to attend school. Children in those year groups who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will be supported. 

I think I am eligible but have not applied?

If you have not applied for benefits related free school meals please do so if you think you are eligible. You can click on the link below which will take you to North Lincolnshire Council ‘Free School Meals’ page.