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School Closure - Free School Meals
Help and information for parents and carers
During these challenging times, many families have been concerned about how they will receive the financial support they need to feed their children at home without the free school meal entitlement during the partial closure of schools.
To help deliver this support, Edenred UK are working with the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver supermarket vouchers to those families, where schools are not able to make food available directly to families.
You will receive this support;
- In the form of an eCode that you can redeem online from a selection of supermarket ‘eGift cards’ if the school has a working email address for you, or;
- If you do not have an email address or access to the internet, your school will print off the voucher, or ‘eGift card’, and post it to your home address, or arrange a collection if easy and safe to do so.
Frequently asked questions about the free school meals voucher scheme
The full list of parent and carer FAQs are available here >>
What’s the difference between an eCode and an eGift card?
eCode – this is the 16 digit code which will be sent to you if you receive an email from your school administrator. You’ll need this code to access www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk and choose your supermarket eGift card. You cannot use the eCode directly with the retailer, it must be exchanged for an eGift card.
eGift card – each supermarket has their own eGift card. To order your eGift, redeem your eCode at www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk. The eGift card will be sent to the email address entered during check-out and can be spent instore at the chosen supermarket. Your school may select your eGift card for you and either print it and post it to you, or arrange for you to collect it.
What supermarkets are available?
- M&S food
How often will I receive the supermarket voucher?
The school will have flexibility in how often they send you an eCode or an eGift card. The eCode can be redeemed for a supermarket eGift card within 1 month. The eGift cards have different expiry dates – please see the parent and carer FAQs for further details
What is the value of the eCode?
This is stated in the email sent by the school.
What can be purchased in store with the eGift card?
The eGift card is issued to parents in respect of the free school meal benefit and will only be accepted in store for the purchase of food and groceries.
How do I use a supermarket eGift card?
A supermarket eGift card is a digital voucher. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store either on a smartphone screen or printed on a piece of paper, just like a gift card. Some eGift cards can be used to purchase online.
I’m not able to get to the supermarket?
You can forward the supermarket eGift card to someone else to purchase goods on your behalf if you’re not able to get to the supermarket. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store, just like a gift card.
I have more than one child, will I receive multiple eCodes?
This will be at the discretion of your school who may issue an eCode for each of your children or, alternatively, may send one eCode to you, for the total value of your children’s free school meal entitlement.