Families can claim free school meal vouchers of up to £30 over Easter holidays

6 April 2022, 10:11 | Updated: 6 April 2022, 11:49

You can now get free meal vouchers over Easter
You can now get free meal vouchers over Easter. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Eligible families can claim vouchers to help feed their children over the Easter break.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Parents may be able to claim vouchers to help to pay for food for their children over the Easter holiday break.

These will be equivalent to the free school meals your child may have been receiving at school, and are redeemable at supermarkets.

Here’s everything you need to know about the scheme…

Families can claim free school meal vouchers through their local government
Families can claim free school meal vouchers through their local government. Picture: Getty Images

How do the free school meal vouchers work?

Free school meal vouchers will usually be sent out by email or text, which parents can then scan at the supermarket checkout.

These can be spent in supermarkets including: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Aldi.

Parents can claim between £15 and £30 worth of vouchers, but this varies depending on which area you live in.

For example, those in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, can claim vouchers worth £30, while parents and carers in Camden can get financial help of £15.

Meanwhile, some councils, including Norfolk county council, have scrapped the vouchers altogether.

You can find out exactly how much you’re entitled to by contacting your local council.

Can my child claim free school meals?

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all set their own rules.

Children are usually eligible from the ages of four to 16 and if their household claims:

  • 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 income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working tax credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit
  • Universal Credit - if you applied on or after April 1, 2018 your household income is less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Parents can use the vouchers in supermarkets
Parents can use the vouchers in supermarkets. Picture: Getty Images

In England all children in reception, year one and year two can get free school meals during term time.

In Scotland, children in primary, year one, year two and year three can claim free school meals.

How do I apply for free school meal vouchers?

You can apply for the voucher through your child's school or your local authority.

Head over to the Gov.uk website to check your local council's guidelines.

For those who already claim housing benefit or council tax support, they can apply on the same form.