Family Cash:
Financial information for UK families

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Free School Meals

Financial help towards paying for school meals for families who are struggling financially, on benefits and finding it hard to make ends meet

This scheme provides free school meals for children from low income families.

How much money will I receive towards school meals?

Your child will receive free school meals. In most cases secondary school children will be given tokens to pay for their meals at school on a weekly basis. Primary school children are marked into the dinner register, whether free or paid meals, and receive a school meal each day.

Is my child eligible to receive free school meals?

All pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England qualify for free school meals. If you live in other parts of the UK, or if your children are older, you will qualify for free school meals for your child if you are in receipt of any of the following:

How do I apply for free school meals?

Application forms are available from your local authority and in most cases can be downloaded from their website. You may also be able to apply by asking for a ‘free school meals’ form from your child’s school and returning the completed form to them. You will need to show up-to-date proof that you are entitled to make a claim. Renewal forms will be sent out each year.

Where can I get more information about free school meals?

Contact your local authority direct to find out more about free school meals.