Don’t miss out on free school meals

Primary school children eating breakfast

Cumberland Council are encouraging parents and carers who are eligible for free school meals to take up the offer for their children to make sure they don’t miss out on the additional benefits available.

Whilst all children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be able to receive free meals through universal infant free school meals, some children in these year groups may also be eligible for benefits-related free school meals, which means they will receive additional benefits such as school uniform grants which are paid automatically to those registered.

Signing up also means more financial support for your school and also ensures that children will be able to access free school meals as they move into Year 3 and beyond.

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health and Communities, said:

"The Free School Meals programme not only provides a hot or cold lunch in school but parents also get help with school uniform, access to funded holiday activities and the school also gets extra funding to support the education of your child.

"I would encourage families to check if they are eligible for these benefits particularly for those children in Reception and Years 1 and 2, where a school lunch is provided to all children, but additional support is provided to eligible families.

"Our officers are here to help with your application, just go to our website where you will find all the details of how to apply or contact the Free School Meals team. Do not miss out on this opportunity to help you and your child."

The uniform grants are worth £50 for a child in primary school and £100 for a child in secondary school. In addition, children will be able to join the Holiday Activity and Food programme, providing fully funded activities during the school holidays.

Free school meals are available to pupils who attend maintained schools, academies and free schools, who are in receipt of, or whose parents or carers receive, certain benefits. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found on the council’s website at Cumberland Council | Free school meals and clothing vouchers. Parents and carers can apply for the grants easily online via the Citizen Portal or contact the free school meals team.

If you already receive benefits related free school meals there is no need to apply again. However, you do need to apply for each child starting school for the first time even if you have applied for your other child/ren.

For more information on how to apply for school uniform grants and free school meals, please visit  Cumberland Council | Free school meals and clothing vouchers

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