The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the COVID Summer Food Fund which will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to be supported over the summer holiday period.
The payments for the COVID Summer Food Fund will be met centrally by DfE. This support is in addition to the free school meals national voucher scheme.
Schools will have received an email from Edenred for the free school meals national voucher scheme with an activation code and a step-by-step guide to using the online ordering portal. The Edenred portal will also be used to order vouchers from the COVID Summer Food Fund.
Through the COVID Summer Food Fund, schools can support eligible pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the 6-week holiday period. If a school’s summer holiday lasts 7 full weeks (rather than 6), they can increase the voucher amount per child from £90 to £105.
Schools must ensure that they do not order vouchers through the free school meals national voucher scheme for holiday weeks that are covered by the COVID Summer Food Fund.
Orders for vouchers must be made at least one week before the school term ends, and it will be issued to the family within 7 days unless a distribution date for further in the future has been specified.
Once the voucher’s value has been confirmed, schools can either:
Send the eCode directly to the parent or carers of the pupils(s) - they will need to choose an eGift card from a range of supermarkets
Select an eGift card on the parent or carer’s behalf, and print and post the eGift card to them
Select an eGift card on the parent or carer’s behalf, print the eGift card and arrange for families to collect it.
For any Edenred queries, please email:
Guidance is available from Edenred for parents to help answer any questions.