Guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak


Coronavirus (COVID-19): temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups


Sample free school meals application form for NRPF groups

MS Word Document, 32.6KB


This guidance will help schools and local authorities to continue providing free school meals to eligible pupils where:

  • the pupil has to stay at home because they and/or wider family members are displaying coronavirus related symptoms
  • the school is only open for certain groups

Be aware of scam emails

We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following:‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.

Published 19 March 2020
Last updated 15 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated information about claiming for additional costs, providing meals or food parcels through your food provider and ordering vouchers to cover multiple weeks.

  2. Added Aldi and McColl’s to the list of supermarkets taking part in the national voucher scheme.

  3. Added a link to the 16 to 19 free meals in further education guidance and information about Aldi joining the national voucher scheme.

  4. Updated information about school food contracts and free school meal eligibility. Added guidance and a sample application form on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.

  5. Added guidance about free school meal support over the Easter holidays.

  6. Added guidance on school food contracts and the national voucher scheme, including how to order. Also added a question and answer section.

  7. Added information for parents about scams.

  8. First published.