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Schools: Food

Question for Department for Education

UIN 74562, tabled on 15 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of children eligible for free school meals (a) did and (b) did not apply for support from the COVID Summer Food Fund before the deadline.

Answered on

22 July 2020

We do not ask individual pupils to register for the Covid Summer Food Fund. Schools can order vouchers on behalf of all eligible pupils through the Edenred online portal.

Where eligible families would be unable to access any of the supermarkets available through using Edenred e-gift cards, schools can make alternative voucher arrangements with a local supermarket.

Schools can claim for this through the exceptional costs fund in the autumn, providing schools have ordered their vouchers by the end of term.

Schools can also claim through the exceptional costs fund if they are arranging food parcels (rather than vouchers) for benefits-related free school meal pupils over the summer holidays.

Our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, have reported that:

  • over £272 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket e-gift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Wednesday 15 July; and
  • over 18,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 30 June.
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.