I came across the following information on the Southend Borough Council website (for those non-Southend readers I apologise, but I’m sure there is similar information available on your own Council websites that is just a Google away.) With the current figures bandying about that state that almost 1 in 4 children in the borough of Southend are living in poverty, I thought this might be useful to know.
The Free School Meals benefit entitles your child to a hot meal at lunchtime, which the Council website states as a value of ‘between £10 and £15 per week.’ All food provided in schools must meet nationally agreed standards of nutrition that were introduced in 2006, which were introduced to ensure that children are provided with a healthy balanced diet while at school.
So- does your child qualify for Free School Meals?
Southend on Sea Vorough Council website states the following:
“Parents do not have to pay for their childs school lunches if they are in receipt of any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part Six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income as assessed by HMRC that does not exceed £16,910)
- Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.”
To apply for Free School Meals, the person who is in receipt of the qualifying benefit can make an application online by clicking here and Southend Council will respond by email within two working days to let you know if your child is eligible for Free School Meals.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe