The information below is provided by the Children,s Food Trust who are the national charity protecting every child’s right to eat better and, so, to do better. Their vision? That all children have the balanced diet, cooking skills and food education they need for good health and to reach their potential.

Children's food trust

Your child may qualify for free healthy school meals and could generate a saving in excess of £350 a year and stress avoidance in not needing to worry making up packed lunches each school day.  If you receive any one or more of the following your child may qualify for free school meals:-

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190

If you’re receiving Working Tax Credits for four weeks after your employment has terminated , your child is still entitled to free school meals during that period. Likewise if you start working fewer than 16 hours per week.

Children who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance in their own right qualify as well.

How to apply

Directgov helps you to find out information on the application process in your area. Simply enter your postcode and follow the link to your local authority.

You can also ask your school, who will be able to give you an application form or tell you who to call at your local council.

From September 2014, all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in state-funded schools in England will be offered free lunches at school.

September sees the start of Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM), the government’s program that entitles every infant school aged child to a free school lunch.

The Children’s Food Trust fully supports UIFSM. It’s great news for children and families and the health benefits of giving our children a nutritious lunch every day are clear. We know that when children eat better they do better. A nutritious school lunch is a big step towards making sure children grow up fit and healthy and achieve their full potential at school.

Many schools have been working hard since March 2014 to get ready for the increased number of children having school meals.

it’s been shown when children eat a healthy, nutritious lunch their concentration and learning is better in the afternoon. It also has the added benefit of teaching children more about social interaction and encouraging them to try new and exciting foods.

For those parents who have children with specific food allergies, intolerances or cultural needs there might be some concern. However don’t worry this initiative is for ALL children so simply contact your child’s school to make them aware of your child’s needs and discuss how your child can enjoy free school meals along with all their class mates.

All you have to do is make sure your child is signed up. Many schools will have already sent a form home with children last term. If you haven’t had one don’t worry simply call the school at the beginning of next term to make sure your child is registered.

By signing your child up for Universal Infant Free School Meals you’re ensuring they receive a healthy, nutritious meal every day.


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