Free School Meals

4th December 2020

DCC have now put in place arrangements to provide supermarket vouchers to nearly 15,000 children across Devon who currently receive income related free school meals, to help their families buy groceries over the Christmas holidays.

Parents and carers of children currently receiving income related free school meals will be sent a letter or email with information about how to access their vouchers from Tuesday 8th December 2020. Please look out for it and get in touch with our free school meals team if you were expecting to receive one but didn’t. You can email them at or call our education helpline on 0345 155 1019.

If your child does not currently receive income related free school meals but you think they qualify due to a change in your family circumstances, please apply online through the Devon Citizen’s Portal as soon as possible, and by Friday 18 2020 at the latest in order to receive the holiday vouchers for this Christmas period. This is the quickest and easiest way for your eligibility to be assessed and you will get an instant decision. Alternatively, please call our education helpline on 0345 155 1019.

Who can access the scheme?

If you are on low income and receive certain benefits your child may be able to get free school meals and supermarket vouchers during the holidays.

The holiday vouchers are issued individually per child, so families with more than one child entitled to free school meals, will receive a unique code for each child to use to get a supermarket voucher to the value of £30 (£15 per week for the 2-week school Christmas holiday) for each child eligible for free schools meals.

Many families in Devon have seen their financial circumstances change due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Your child may be able to get free school meals and holiday vouchers if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

For more information about free school meals and holiday voucher eligibility, including the temporary extension to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), please visit this page on our website


Finally, if you as a family are worrying about money and struggling to pay for basic household essentials, you can also apply for help through funding that we have made available via the District Council hardship funds. There’s more about what financial and food support is available for families in Devon on our website.