Council to provide Free School Meal vouchers during February half term

05 February 2021

Cambridgeshire County Council will be providing vouchers to all children who usually receive Free School Meals, for use during February half term. The £15 supermarket vouchers will be issued automatically by the 12th February ready for use during the half term week. Vouchers will be sent by email and text message to parents/carers.

We understand that families continue to live in uncertain times, and many are facing changes to their financial circumstances as a result. If you have not previously applied for Free School Meals, or your name has recently changed, and you feel you now meet the below criteria, please visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to apply.

Eligibility criteria for vouchers

Children will be automatically issued with free school meal vouchers if the parent/carer receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit - but no element of Working Tax Credit - and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)) that does not exceed £16,190
  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work less hours per week
  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400

Vouchers will be provided to families via the councils Winter Grant Scheme. For further information about the Winter Grant Scheme and the support available during this challenging period, please visit the following webpages: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/wintersupport

If parent/carers do not wish to receive a food voucher, please let your school know as soon as possible so that we can reallocate the voucher to someone else in need.

Jonathan Lewis, Director for Education for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: “Along with exercise, nutritious meals are essential for a child’s health, wellbeing and cognition. Satisfying hunger is a basic need and no child should ever have to go hungry. We recognise the extra financial pressures some families are facing due to COVID-19, and by providing them with Free School Meal vouchers during half term will hopefully alleviate some of those worries.

“There are several additional ways we are providing support to families, and I would like to encourage families to reach out to their child’s school if they have any questions about the support that may be available to them via the Winter Grant Scheme.”