School Meals Vouchers

The Department for Education have launched (31st March) a national voucher scheme for children eligible for free school meals, allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with DfE working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

Schools will be emailed today by the Department for Education’s chosen supplier, Edenred. Schools will then either be able to:

  • Order vouchers individually online and have a code sent via email to each family. The family can then show the code on their phone at the supermarket; or
  • Arrange a bulk order of multiple codes and receive an excel spreadsheet to help schools organise sending on to a family, or create an eGift card for a preferred supermarket to be posted to a family if parents cannot get online.

The total value of vouchers available per eligible child per week exceeds the rate paid to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.
Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

Guidance and more information