Are you eligible for free school meals?

Families who may be eligible for free school meal vouchers over the school summer holidays are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The vast majority of schools break up on Friday July 17th and children who qualify for free school meals are entitled to a voucher worth £15 per week for the holidays, making a total of £105.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, free school meal applications in Kirklees have been three times higher than the same time last year. By quickly dealing with hew applications, we have helped over 1,000 extra families to receive this vital support. Where a child looks to be eligible but their family has not applied, we even get in touch proactively so that they don’t miss out.

Nationally, Covid-19 has put many families into financial difficulty. Free school meals will continue to operate during the holidays, with families receiving a government-funded voucher via their school which can be spent in most supermarkets.

Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“We are determined to prevent people going hungry and we want to make sure all children who qualify for free school meals are receiving their entitlement. A healthy, balanced diet is crucial in helping children with their physical and mental wellbeing.

“It also means they are more ready to learn and thrive when they go back to school, so there is a direct link between staying healthy and achieving better outcomes. School holidays are a difficult time for many families, especially those with financial problems, but we’re here to help.”

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet member for Corporate, said:

“The council made a commitment to funding free school meal vouchers during all the school holiday periods since the pandemic began, if the government failed to do so. This applied to Easter, May half-term and the summer holidays and, whilst the government did eventually say it would provide funding, our decision showed our support for local families.

“Helping people to access free school meals is just one of the ways we’re tackling the financial effects of Covid-19. I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to find out more as soon as they can.”

Children are eligible if they are in full-time education and their parents/carers receive certain benefits. For more information, visit our web pages about free school meals.




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