COVID-19 update: Free school meals in Brighton, Hove and Portslade

We wanted to update you about what food is available to pupils that would usually receive Free School Meals.

Primary schools

Pupils eatnig vegetables from their Veg Power Pots

All primary schools* across Brighton, Hove and Portslade will have been in contact with parents directly.

For those pupils that are going into school because their parents are key workers or because the pupils are vulnerable (e.g. with a social worker and/or with Early Health Care Plans), they will receive a hot lunch in school.

For primary school pupils that usually receive Free School Meals, they are currently able to pick up a packed lunch from school every week day. Please check your school website for details on when and where this will be.

Schools will soon be moving to a voucher scheme, organised by the Department of Education, who will be sending out vouchers to the value of £15 per week per child that can be used in Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrison and M&S.  This is more than the cost per child of a free school meal and the voucher will be an e-voucher or gift card for any family that isn’t online. Your child’s school should be in touch directly to arrange this.

We are in discussion with Children’s Centre and Children’s Services about children who are at risk of neglect and for whom this solution may not work.

If you are aware of families entitled to a free school meal who may be struggling over holiday periods please make sure they are aware of Chomp.

If you are self isolating and need to pick up a packed lunch from school, please reach out to a neighbour or get in touch with your local Mutual Aid Group. There is a very active group on Facebook which will connect up people in need with a volunteer that can help. Unfortunately Brighton & Hove City Council has had to issue some advice on scams connected to Free School Meals and Mutual Aid.

* This does not include the Bilingual School or Whitehawk Academy. Please contact these schools directly for further information. We have heard that Woodingdean Primary are not using this approach and will update this blog when we hear back from them. Coldean Primary School are offering all children who receive free school meals a hot meal served at the school between 12.30pm and 13:00pm.

Secondary schools

Pupils from secondary schools should have been contacted directly by their school. Each secondary school will be sharing information on their website around getting food to those pupils that usually receive Free School Meals, or those that are going into school because their parents are key workers. Secondary school pupils are eligible for the voucher scheme mentioned above. Please visit your school’s website to find further information.

More information:

Coronavirus update on food access, volunteering and more.

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