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Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (North of England) (Northern Powerhouse), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to ensure infants eligible for free school meals that receive vouchers under the universal infant free school meals will continue to receive those vouchers during summer holiday 2020.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer. To reflect this, we will be providing additional funding for a COVID-19 Summer Food Fund which will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to receive food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period. This is a specific measure to reflect the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Infant pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will be eligible to receive vouchers as part of the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund. However, this provision is not available for children who receive universal infant free school meals and who are not eligible for benefits-related free school meals. It is right that we concentrate resources on those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals at this time.

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