Free school meals

Families whose children are eligible for benefit related free school meals will be provided with supermarket vouchers worth £20 for the October and Christmas holiday periods by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

On October 22, eligible families who received vouchers from the council’s free school meals scheme during the summer holidays will automatically receive an email. Once they confirm they would like a £20 voucher per child per week, a further email will be sent containing the supermarket voucher codes.

Families with children aged 17 or over attending a sixth form in B&NES will need to make a fresh application. Families who haven’t claimed the vouchers before can also make a new application. This can be done online from noon on October 22.

Anyone with children aged 16 and under who has previously received vouchers should not reapply, as it could cause a delay in receiving the vouchers.

The council has provided the vouchers to families in all school holiday periods since Christmas 2020. During the summer holidays, the council issued more than 12,000 vouchers to families in B&NES.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to continue supporting families in the upcoming autumn and winter school holidays. I hope this news takes some of the pressure off parents and carers who may have been worrying how they were going to put enough food on the table, especially looking ahead to Christmas when finances often need to stretch even further.”

The electronic vouchers can be spent in a range of supermarkets and are available to the families of pupils entitled to benefit-related free school meals, as well as parents who receive free childcare for two-year-olds.

When using their vouchers, families are asked to ensure they are happy with their choice of supermarket before they click the relevant store option as the supermarket cannot be changed once selected. The vouchers must also be downloaded and saved to a smartphone or computer as replacements cannot be issued.

Further information on additional support to families will also be sent to families in receipt of free school meals after the October half term voucher scheme has been completed.

For more information on the support available for parents and carers, follow this link.