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Free School Meals: Homeschooling and Holidays

  • 21/01/2021
  • Author:bridgetmccall

This article is over a year old

Find out what may be available depending on where you live

Young girl looking into an empty fridge

Schools must provide some pupils with a free midday meal during term times. For more information who is eligible, see Free School Meals

What is available when the schools are shut because of the coronavirus pandemic and in school holidays depends on the country of the UK that you live in.


Families in England who are entitled to free school meals should be able to access schemes in their area when schools are shut and during school holidays. Contact your local council to find out what help they are providing.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has a direct payments scheme for families eligible for free school meals when there are school closures in term time and during school holidays..

See the NI Department of Education:Covid-19 direct payment scheme for families eligible for free school meals


If you get free school meals, you may also be able to get help when homeschooling and the school holidays.

See School meals for more information


While schools are closed because of coronavirus and during the school holidays, families eligible for free school means are given vouchers or food packages by local councils in Wales

Other sources of food help

If you need help with food in general, see I don't have enough to eat

For other kinds of urgent needs, see Emergency help information

For general help, see Bringing up a Child and Coronavirus Help

The End Child Food Poverty website includes a map that allows people to find help in their local area. This is a new website so the information on it is likely to grow over time and the information may be subject to change.

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