Coronavirus: help with food costs for families while schools are closed

200330 school meals

Manchester City Council have put the following arrangements in place to support families with food costs while schools are closed during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Free school meal pupils
  • Hardship support for families

Eligibility

  • Children must be born between 31/08/04 and 01/09/2014 to be eligible
  • Preschool and early years children are not eligible

Free school meal pupils

This support is available for families with school age children who would normally receive a free school meal from the school. It’s based on household income or due to being an asylum seeker. The full eligibility list can be viewed here.

The government has advised that they expect to have a new scheme up and running in the near future. They intend to issue vouchers directly to families. This will not be up and running for a few weeks.

Because of this, the Council has made local arrangements to support families until the national voucher scheme is in place. Some schools are picking this up by providing lunches and vouchers and other schools have asked the Council to make payments on their behalf.

If your school is not providing support and you normally receive free school meals due to low income please make a claim for support. The council cannot make a payment if your school has alternative arrangements in place.

The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £2.00 per day (£10 per week) for each school child or young person in the household. This money can be paid within a few days using one of the following methods:

  • A bank transfer into a nominated bank account, which is the quickest option
  • A secure text message that can be used to access cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city
  • A voucher that can be printed and can then be exchanged for cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city

To apply, please submit a request via the council’s Welfare Provision Scheme.

Hardship: to support families facing hardship

The council is also providing a financial grant to parents and carers of the following groups of school age children and young people who would not usually be eligible for free school meals but who fit the following criteria:

  • a Manchester resident or supported by the Homelessness Service; and
  • whose family has been hardest hit by the recent issues and may be waiting for benefits to be assessed or have a gap in their income due to being laid off etc.

The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £2.00 per day (£10 per week) for each school child or young person in the household. This money can be paid within a few days using one of the following methods:

  • A bank transfer into a nominated bank account, which is the quickest option
  • A secure text message that can be used to access cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city
  • A voucher that can be printed and can then be exchanged for cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city

To apply, please submit a request via the council’s Welfare Provision Scheme.

For further information please see the council’s website.

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