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Free School Meals (during Covid)

During the coronavirus outbreak Chorus Education Trust schools are using the national scheme.  The government is providing supermarket vouchers to the families of those students who normally receive free school meals.

The government announced details of this scheme on Tuesday 31 March 2020. Further details can be found on the government website here.

We are contacting all those families who are currently receiving Free School Meals and registering them on the government scheme which is managed by Edenred.


Who is eligible for the supermarket vouchers?

The families of all those students who currently receive free school meals are eligible for the supermarket vouchers.

Details of eligibility for free school meals in Derbyshire can be found here.

There may be families whose situation has changed and their child(ren) may be eligible for free school meals. They will need to apply for free school meals via the local council or authority using the link above.


How much are these vouchers worth?

The scheme provides a single voucher to the value of £15 each week for every child eligible for benefits-related free school meals who is not attending school. 


How can families use these vouchers?

For those families who have a working email account registered with school:

  • Parents or carers of the student(s) eligible for free school meals will receive a redemption eCode directly to their email address.
  • They will receive instructions from Edenred on how to use this eCode to then create an eGift card, which the family should receive by email within 3 hours (please check spam filters).


For those families who do not have internet access and/or a working email account:

  • We will talk to these families or write to them and make arrangements to send them eGift card for their chosen supermarket (see list on the government website ).


Once families have received their eGift card, they will be able to redeem it in-store at the selected retailer by either:

  • presenting the eGift card on a smartphone or tablet
  • presenting a paper copy of the eGift card.


Need help?

Edenred, the company who run the Free School Meals Voucher Scheme, have produced a guide which you can view here.


Where can these vouchers be spent and what can they be spent on?

There is a list of supermarkets on the government website which will be updated.  The government recognises that it may not be convenient or possible for some families to visit one of these supermarkets, and they are working to see if additional supermarkets can be added to this list. 

Families are free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. When selecting products, we encourage families to consider health and nutrition. The School Food Standards may act as a useful guide for families.  Further details are available on the government website.


What about students who are attending school?

Those children of critical workers and vulnerable children who are still attending our school during term time will continue to receive free school meals during the day in school - instead of this voucher scheme.


Emails asking for bank details.

Be aware of scam emails! We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We will never ask for your bank details for this. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.


We hope this explains the situation clearly. Please appreciate that this is a new process and a national scheme. We are trying to implement it and register our schools as quickly as possible. 

If you are have any queries about the national scheme please contact Edenred directly. You can view their website about the scheme here, which contains answers to lots of frequently asked questions.