Free School Meals: Coronavirus

(asked on 28th April 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children in receipt of free school meals have been fed through (a) the national voucher scheme, (b) school collection and distribution models and (c) other means since school closures due to the covid-19 outbreak.


Answered by
Vicky Ford Portrait
Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
This question was answered on 4th May 2020

As education is a devolved matter, this answer refers to free school meals in England only.

It is critically important that eligible children continue to receive benefits-related free school meals during this period. We have published guidance for schools explaining what they should do to make sure that eligible pupils have continued access to this provision, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

As of 28 April our supplier, Edenred, reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme and as of Monday 4 May, Edenred has reported that over £47 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme. We do not collect data at pupil level. The department does not hold information on the number of children that have been fed via school collection and distribution models or other means since school closures.

The department does not hold data regarding how many children have become eligible for free school meals since the school closures. This information will be collected as part of the school census. Schools and local authorities should continue to accept free school meal applications during the closures to ensure that newly eligible children are able to receive meals they are entitled to.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Free School Meals: Coronavirus

1. Report - Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme
02/12/2020 - National Audit Office

Found: General Department for Education Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme HC 1036 SESSION

2. Survey of childcare and early years providers and COVID-19 (coronavirus)
26/10/2020 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID -19 Research report October 2020 Laura Hunnikin,

3. Benefits of remaining in education - evidence and considerations, 4 November 2020
26/10/2021 - Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies
- View source

Found: remaining in education : Evidence and considerations SPI - B and DfE . In this note, SPI - B and DfE

4. Summary - Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme
02/12/2020 - National Audit Office

Found: General Department for Education Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme HC 1036 SESSION

5. Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme
02/12/2020 - National Audit Office

Found: Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme - National Audit Office (NAO) Report

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Free School Meals: Coronavirus

1. Oral Answers to Questions
18/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: elsewhere, so how will the Secretary of State ensure that the Turing scheme, a poor replacement for Erasmus - Speech Link
2: students. Yes, there are many, many brilliant higher education student institutes right across Europe, but there - Speech Link
3: joint agreement, what additional funding will the Secretary of State make available to ensure that our overall - Speech Link

2. Free School Meals: Summer Holidays
16/06/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: interest in this particular debate, so please can I ask, in both the opening and the response to this motion - Speech Link
2: cover benefits-related free school meals including the national voucher scheme over the Easter and May - Speech Link
3: cover benefits-related free school meals including the national voucher scheme over the Easter and May - Speech Link

3. Free School Meals
21/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: continue directly funding provision of free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021 to prevent - Speech Link
2: consider this to be a temporary measure while the covid crisis continues or a permanent measure that would - Speech Link

4. Oral Answers to Questions
01/03/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: Government have invested £1.7 billion in helping education settings boost pupils’ learning, including additional - Speech Link
2: an important point. The spectrum and range of children who are perhaps needing that extra support is - Speech Link
3: ensure that those children are prioritised, as we work to ensure that all children can catch up with - Speech Link

5. Remote Education and Free School Meals
18/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: that families need more support during school and college closures; and that those eligible should be guaranteed - Speech Link
2: that families need more support during school and college closures; and that those eligible should be guaranteed - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Free School Meals: Coronavirus
1. Covid Winter Grant Scheme and Free School Meals
asked by: Sharon Hodgson
01/12/2020
... what steps she is taking to ensure that families of children who are eligible for Free School Meals are aware of the need to access the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to receive food provision support over the Christmas holidays.

2. Covid Winter Grant Scheme and Free School Meals
asked by: Sharon Hodgson
01/12/2020
... what steps she is taking to (a) inform families of children who are eligible for Free School Meals how to access support under the Covid Winter Grant Scheme and (b) support those families to access that scheme.

Latest Questions