The UK Government backed voucher scheme aimed at providing free school meals has been extended to include the summer holidays following an announcement from the Government confirming the 'Covid Summer Food Fund'.
Who benefits from a free school meal?
Children of all ages from households on income-related benefits can be eligible for the government subsidised scheme.
In England and Scotland, all school pupils in Reception and Years 1 & 2 are eligible for free school meals during term time.
How many free school meals are claimed?
1.3 million children from England claimed a free school meal in 2019.
Why is the scheme being extended?
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a number of children not being present in the classroom, raising concerns of the access to healthy meals. Free school meals have been linked to lowering obesity and improving academic achievement, two factors which could be driving the extension of the scheme.
The current voucher scheme has been met with difficulties with many complaining they have not been able to download vouchers or use them in supermarkets.