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How to get £50 food vouchers over school Easter holidays
11 April 2022, 15:10
Hard-up families can get help feeding their children over the Easter holidays.
Food vouchers which can be used in supermarkets are available to help cover the cost of feeding kids when they are not getting free school meals.
For example, in West Sussex parents can get a £50 voucher per child to help with rising food and energy bills.
In Kirklees residents can get £30 per child to spend on food if they are normally eligible for free school meals.
What help is available and how you get it will depend on where you live as each council has a different way of running the scheme.
Vouchers can usually be used at most supermarkets, including places like Asda, Tesco and Lidl, but check the terms to see where they can be spent.
But there are some areas where parents are not being offered the extra support. In Norwich the free school meal voucher scheme has been scrapped, but there is other support for struggling families through its welfare assistance scheme.
Funding for vouchers for those who get free school meals was given out by the government during the Coronavirus pandemic.
But it is now up to local authorities whether they continue offering the help. Some areas are offering the vouchers through the £500million Household Support Fund.
Those getting free school meals or not could also get help from this fund.You can check what's available near you by checking with your local council.
Who is eligible for free school meals?
Children whose parents claim certain benefits are eligible to receive free school meals:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
If you find that your council is no longer giving out free school meals, or you're not eligible, there is other support available.
Make sure you're getting all the help you're eligible for by using an online benefits calculator.
Food banks can provide families with emergency supplies - you will need to be issued a voucher by a local community organisation such as a school or GP.
You can search for your nearest food bank on the Trussell Trust website.