Families across England are being offered the opportunity to claim free school meal vouchers to spend at supermarkets during the Easter holidays.
Parents will be able to receive between £15 to £50 - depending on where you live - that will help cover what your child may have been receiving whilst at school.
Local authorities are offering support during Easter 2022 in a number of different ways, so how this support is offered varies from council to council.
Here is everything you need to know about the free school meal vouchers support scheme and how it is rolled out by Liverpool councils.
What are free school meal vouchers and how does it work?
Free school meal vouchers are eGift cards with a value that ranges from £15 to as much as £50.
These are typically issued via text or email directly to the parents, who will then be able to scan a code at supermarket checkouts to use its allowance.
Manchester United and England superstar Marcus Rashford campaigned for the funding to stay after the government planned to scrap free school meals in 2020.
As a result, the government has left it to local authorities to decide whether or not to continue offering free school meal vouchers.
Following the Household Support Fund that was announced by Rishi Sunak during his Spring Statement in March, the government issued £500 million to support them in order to fund initiatives like this.
Where can free school meal vouchers be spent?
Free school meal vouchers can be spent at the following stores and supermarkets throughout England:
- John Lewis
- Marks and Spencer
However, these can vary depending on the terms and conditions of your voucher issued by the council or school.
You are advised to contact them directly to find out more about where you can spend the voucher.
How do I find out if my child is eligible for free school meals?
Parents across the Merseyside area that claim certain benefits are eligible for their children to receive free school meals.
The benefits that parents must qualify for at least one are:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not 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 applied 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 your child already receives free school meals during term times, then you should be eligible to receive free school meal vouchers during the Easter holidays.
To apply, fill out the required application form of your relevant local authority:
- Liverpool City Council - click here
- Sefton Council - click here
- Knowsley Council - click here
- Wirral Council - click here
- St. Helens Council - click here
What have Liverpool councils said?
LiverpoolWorld has reached out to Liverpool City Council for further information about how they are issuing free school meal vouchers across the region, but are still awaiting a reply.
If you are looking for other avenues of support during the Easter holidays, Liverpool City Council have started The Easter Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which starts on Monday, April 11.
Children and young people aged 5-16 will be able to access a host of fun and free activities throughout the Easter break, where there will be a meal for every child that attends.
For more information, visit the official Liverpool City Council website.
When are the Easter holidays?
The dates that school children break up from school for Easter will vary from school to school in Liverpool.
On the whole, schools are out in the city from Monday, April 11 to Monday, April 25.