Supermarkets: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government which supermarkets are participating in the COVID-19 national voucher scheme for children eligible for free school meals; and what the eligibility criteria are for supermarkets.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Our latest guidance on providing free school meals is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Through the national voucher scheme, schools and families could initially access eGift cards for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. On Monday 27 April Aldi were added to this scheme and on Wednesday 29 April McColl’s were also added.

We continue to work with a wide range of supermarkets to encourage them to join. In order to be part of the scheme they are required to have the right infrastructure to deliver eGift cards in a uniform way across their network of stores.

If families are not able to access any of the supermarkets which are part of the national voucher scheme, schools are able to purchase vouchers directly for alternative supermarkets. They can be reimbursed for the cost of these alternatives through the schools’ coronavirus exceptional costs fund, up to £15 per pupil per week. This funding covers unavoidable additional costs incurred to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from existing resources. Further information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

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