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Covid 19: Advice for Schools on Free School Meals, access to Food and supporting Families in Food Poverty (UPDATED 31 MARCH)

Please find attached a comprehensive document sharing information on Free School Meals, access to food and supporting families in food poverty at this difficult time. 


This guidance shares national and local information, advice and guidance for how to support your pupils and families to access meals and maintain a balanced diet.


You will find it helpful in supporting those who may be at risk or food poverty or who are entitled to Free School Meals.



Please see the link below for an update on Free School Meals (FSM) and Covid 19.




This will be of use for any schools who have wanted to set up a food voucher scheme but have been waiting for national guidance before doing so.


The vouchers can be emailed to families, printed off for them to collect or forwarded to local supermarkets to be accessed directly. It’s important to ensure you communicate with parents and carers that the vouchers are to be used for food, and not products such as alcohol or cigarettes.


The vouchers will be of the value of £15 per week per FSM eligible child.


How to order vouchers:

  • You will be able to access the voucher scheme using the Edenred portal.
  • Edenred will send schools an activation email, explaining how to access the portal and order vouchers.
  • The email will be sent on Tuesday 31 March to the email address DfE holds for your school.
  • If you have not received the email by Thursday 2 April, please check your ‘junk’ folder then email Edenred freeschoolmeals@edenred.co.uk.
  • Once you have activated your account on the Edenred portal, you can begin to create vouchers.


Edenred will provide schools with a step-by-step guide to ordering vouchers through their online portal.


If you already have your own scheme up and running, that’s fine. There’s no need for to switch to the national model as the DfE have reassured us that they’ll still meet the costs of any reasonable local initiative.


If your school is already providing meals, then you are able to consider a combined approach. Please speak with your Catering Provider to discuss this.

25 Mar 2020

Health and Wellbeing Service
Health and Wellbeing Service
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