Free school meals are provided for children whose families are in receipt of benefits such as income support or income based job seeker’s allowance.
School meals are a great way to ensure your child is eating a healthy and well-balanced meal during the school day.
Every school meal served meets the government’s rigorous nutritional standards – good to know as evidence suggests that eating well improves a child’s concentration and learning.
Your child may be entitled to receive free school meals if you are entitled to receive one or more of the following:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- An income-related employment and support allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190.
Parents receiving Working Tax Credit for four weeks after their employment finishes are entitled to free school meals during that period. This also applies to parents who start working less than 16 hours per week. The council will only ask you to provide evidence of your income if they are unable to get confirmation themselves.
How to apply
To get free school meals, you must first make an application. You can do this in any of the following ways:
Filling in a free school meals online application form
Downloading and filling in a free school meals application form from the council’s website and returning it to their office
Calling the council on 020 8496 8550 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. They can then take your application over the phoneVisiting one of the following libraries:
- Leyton High Road, Leyton E10 5QH
- Leytonstone, 6 Church Lane, Leytonstone E11 1HG
- North Chingford, The Green, Chingford E4 7EN
- Walthamstow High Street, Walthamstow E17 7JN
The libraries are open: Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm, Saturday: 9am to 6pm, Sunday: 12pmto 4pm. (Walthamstow library is open from 10am on Sundays).
Visiting the Customer Service Centre:
137 Hoe Street, Walthamstow. E17 4RT. Opening times: Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 6pm, Saturday: 9am to 1pm.
You can also apply for free school meals when you claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit. Just make sure you answer the free school meal questions when filling in the form.
If you would like help in applying for free school meals, please contact Kathleen Smith, Headteacher’s PA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if your child prefers to have a packed lunch, it is a big help to the school if you apply for free meals where eligible – it affects the amount of grant the school receives from the government.