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

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

Free School Meals

Children whose parents receive certain benefits (but not working tax credit) are entitled to receive free school meals. Find out if your child is entitled. You can find out more and apply on line.

The council will help you apply. Email or call the Free School Meals Team on 01273 293497. You will need to tell them your National Insurance Number or your National Asylum Seeker Number (NASS), your date of birth, and your surname (as it appears on your benefit letter).

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.

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.  They will not ask for your bank details – ignore any email that does as it will be a scam (see advice on scams )

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.

School holidays

Free school meals vouchers have so far also covered holiday periods, so make sure you are signed up. Additionally Chomp have been delivering food parcels to families during the holidays.

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.


* 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.

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