Free School Meals: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th November 2020.

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Photo of Janet Daby Janet Daby Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Faiths, Women and Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children who were previously receiving free school meals but are now being taught from home as a result of the covid-19 outbreak do not go hungry.

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

As schools and their kitchens are now open, they should provide healthy, nutritious meal options for all children who are in school, and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria.

If children are eligible for benefit-related free school meals, but are self-isolating, we expect catering providers to be in a strong position to support any eligible pupils through food parcels, be those daily or weekly. We have put guidance in place for schools on how they can support children in these circumstances. This is complemented by advice from the schools food trade organisation, Lead Association for Catering in Education, and Public Health England, on what a good food parcel should comprise. Our latest guidance for schools is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

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