Free School Meals Information

When schools closed on 23 March 2020, Embrace schools initially provided a weekly hamper containing a week’s worth of provisions for all eligible children. 

The government has since launched its national voucher scheme, which we moved to after the Easter break.  

The national voucher scheme allows schools to provide vouchers to families electronically via an ‘eCode’, or as a gift card for those without internet access.  A voucher to the value of £15 each week is generated for every child eligible for benefits-related free school meals who is not attending school.

Once families have received their voucher, they can redeem it in-store at Aldi, Asda, McColl’s, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose or M&S, by presenting the voucher on a smartphone or tablet or by presenting a paper copy of the voucher.  

Vouchers are for providing healthy, nutritious food for eligible children, therefore they cannot be redeemed for any age-related items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.

Schools and local authorities continue to accept free school meal applications to support newly eligible pupils. Parents/carers should contact the school or local authority, who will verify eligibility and award free school meals.

The Department for Education (DfE) is aware that some parents nationally have received an email asking them to send their bank details to make sure they are supported. The DfE has confirmed that this is a scam email and is not official.  If you receive any emails like this, please do not respond and delete immediately.