March 20, 2020 2.15 pm This story is over 18 months old

Supermarket vouchers set to help provide free school meals

Plans are being finalised

Supermarket and shop vouchers will be used to help supply low income families with free school meals under new plans.

As announced previously, government and local authorities are expecting schools to continue to provide support to pupils if they are affected by coronavirus, or if the school is closed temporarily or only open to certain groups.

Lincolnshire County Council is advising schools to contact their catering teams and providers to see if they can prepare meals or food parcels that could be collected by or delivered to families.

A council spokesman said there is also a national approach to providing support being drawn up.

Although further details are to be confirmed, schools will be able to order vouchers directly from supermarkets or shops in their communities to be emailed or printed and posted to families.

Costs are due to be covered by the Department for Education.

The government has also confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pay for free school meals, due to families being unable to buy food in bulk and incurring higher costs.

Child may be able to get free school meals if families get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you applied on or after April 1, 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.