Winter Free School Meal Support

We recognise how challenging the current situation is and how the additional burden of holidays can make the costs of feeding families go through the roof. We are, then, pleased to let you know about the Winter Free School Meal Support Scheme.

Following the Government’s announcement to give Winter Grant money to deliver benefit-related Free School Meals (FSM) over the Christmas holiday period, Kent County Council will provide eligible families with supermarket food vouchers. 

The vouchers cover the period of 2 weeks and will be £15 per week per child. They will be for the  holiday period from Monday 21 December 2020 – 4 January 2020.

The vouchers can be provided for either use in Asda or Tesco and should only be used to buy food and other essential items.   Asda vouchers can be used online, or instore and Tesco vouchers can only be used instore, however the vouchers cannot be used in both stores.

Privacy Notice

More Information

To enable the vouchers to be sent out electronically, the council has appointed a third-party provider to distribute the vouchers, and the school has been asked to provide your contact details so that vouchers can be emailed to you the between 30 November 2020 and 9 December 2020, from the following email address:

free.school.meals.kent.county.council@notifications.service.gov.uk 

The school will provide the following information to the third-party provider: parents first and last names, email address, phone number and supermarket choice.  Can you please check that the school has your most up to date contract details and your preferred supermarket choice: Asda or Tesco. If your contact details are not correct, then the vouchers may not reach you in time for Christmas or an appropriate supermarket may be selected on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

1          Why is my child’s school asking for my information?

You are being asked for information to make sure you can get the help that Kent County Council (KCC) has put in place for families who have children in Kent schools who already receive Free School Meals based on their family income.

 

2          What help is available for my child?

To help over the school holiday at Christmas, KCC is supplying a supermarket voucher to the value of £15 per week, for a maximum of two weeks, for every eligible child that receives free school meals in Kent schools based on their family income. The voucher is for food and other essential items only.   

 

3          Can I choose which supermarket voucher to get?

The vouchers available are from Tesco or Asda only. Asda vouchers can be used online or instore. Tesco vouchers can only be used instore including at Tesco Metro and Tesco Express.  Please make sure you tell us which one you would prefer.

 

4. How will I receive the voucher?

A voucher code will be sent to you by email  from free.school.meals.kent.county.council@notifications.service.gov.uk

 Please note this address cannot accept incoming emails. Some accounts may send the email to your junk folder, so do check this folder for your voucher.    If purchasing in store, you should take the code with you to pay for your groceries.  Tesco vouchers also have a challenge code, so you should make sure you have this with you too.  If purchasing online, you will need to enter the Asda code by clicking on the “Add Gift Card” button in the Order Summary section of the checkout.

 

5. Can I use the vouchers online?

Asda vouchers can be used online or instore. Tesco vouchers can only be used instore including at Tesco Metro and Tesco Express. The vouchers are for food and other essential items.

 

6. Can I exchange the vouchers for cash

No. The vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash.

 

7. When will I receive my vouchers?

Vouchers will be sent out in the week beginning Monday 30 November from free.school.meals.kent.county.council@notifications.service.gov.uk  . Please note this address cannot accept incoming emails. Some email accounts may send the email to your junk folder, so do check this folder for your voucher.  Not all vouchers will be sent on the first day. If your children are at more than one school, it is likely you will receive your vouchers on different days. It will take a number of days for everybody to receive all of their vouchers. If you have not received your vouchers by Wednesday 9 December, please do contact your school in the first instance.

 

8. What will my child’s school do with my information?

The school will pass your information to KCC’s fulfilment agency who will use the information you give to send out the supermarket voucher. A privacy notice explains how the data will be used and then once used, destroyed.  You can read the privacy notice here www.kent.gov.uk/foodvoucherprivacy

 

9. Who can I talk to if I think there is a mistake or if I don’t receive my voucher?

If you haven’t received your voucher by Wednesday 9 December, please do check your junk folder for our email in the first instance.  If you think there is a mistake with the information about you or your household, or the voucher is not received, speak to your child’s school to check that all of your information is correct.

 

10. What if there isn’t a Tesco or Asda near me?

The vouchers are valid in any Asda or Tesco store including those in Kent or any surrounding counties.  Asda vouchers can be used online or in any of the 13 stores in Kent.  There are over 50 Tesco outlets in Kent including Tesco Metro and Tesco Express. If you are still unable to use an Asda or Tesco voucher, please alert your school in order that we can put an alternative offer in place.

 

11. My child lives in Kent but goes to school in another authority area, what help will I get?

Each local authority is making arrangements for the children that go to school in their area. In some areas you will need to apply for the help that is offered.  If you live in Kent and your child goes to school elsewhere, we recommend that you talk to your child’s school in the first instance and they will be able to tell you what arrangements are in place.

 

12. Who decides who is eligible for Free School Meals?

The government decides who is eligible for free school meals. You can find out about who is eligible and how to apply here  https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

 

            13. Who is paying for the supermarket vouchers?

The government has given Kent County Council a grant to help residents over the winter period. The cost of the vouchers is being met from this grant.