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School food and free school meals

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update – there is currently a high volume of applications for free school meals. Please note that if your child is in Year 3 or above and normally receives free school meals you do not need to reapply at this time, their school already knows they qualify. For all year groups, please only apply if you have read the criteria below, have not previously been notified by the council that your child is entitled to the means-tested free school meals, and think that you will qualify based on the criteria. 

Families who are entitled to free school meals should contact their child’s school to find out what system is in place for supplying food or vouchers during the current situation relating to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Find out if your child is eligible for free school meals and apply online. Learn about our healthy menus and how we cater for special dietary requirements.

Free school meals

This information about free school meals applies to children who attend schools in North Lincolnshire. Students who attend colleges should contact their college for more information.

Free school meals are offered to children of families who receive one of the following:

  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190

If your child qualifies for free school meals you may also receive a school clothing grant. We will assess this at the same time as your free school meals claim, using the same application.

Temporary extension to eligibility

During the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the government is also temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. These groups are:

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

These groups are also subject to a maximum household earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum.

The government is also temporarily extending eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This group is not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.

If you believe your children will temporarily qualify for free school meals under one of the above criteria please contact us and we will send you an application form to complete.

How to apply

Please list all of your children who attend a school (other than Oasis Academies) in North Lincolnshire on the form.

Alternatively, you can use this form Free School Meals Registration Form [Word document, 8Kb], or get a paper version of the form sent to you if you contact us at fsm@northlincs.gov.uk or 01724 297217

We will let you and your child’s school know when your claim has been processed.

ALL children in Reception, Year 1, and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal. However, it is still really important that if you get one of the above benefits you complete this form. It may also enable us to pay you a clothing grant and the school will receive up to an extra £1320 per year from the Government for each of your children.

 

Paid school meals

We provide over 10,000 freshly cooked meals each day in 77 schools across North Lincolnshire.

The quality of the food we supply is extremely important to us:

  • Many of our products are quality assured, carrying the Red Tractor mark, MsC mark or quality beef or pork mark.
  • Our eggs are sourced from East Riding of Yorkshire and are all free range.
  • We only purchase class 1 fruit and vegetables and all suppliers are rigorously checked before they can supply.
  • We use local suppliers for more than a third of our food buying, contributing around £500,000 per year to the local economy.

Cost of school meals

  • Infant school meals (Key Stage 1 pupils) – Free
  • Junior school meals (Key Stage 2 pupils) – £2.30 per day
  • Secondary school meals – £2.40 per day

Payment methods for school meals can vary depending on which school – please check with your school first.

Many schools now use ParentPay to pay for school meals and other school items, please check with your school if they use this service.

The following schools can use North Lincolnshire Council’s online payment system to pay for school meals:

  • Lincoln Gardens Primary School
  • St Martin’s Primary School

We understand that a healthy school lunch can help children to achieve more.

  • We serve healthy nutritionally balanced meals, which are freshly prepared daily by our locally employed, well-trained staff.
  • By listening to our customers’ likes and dislikes we can serve meals that are not just healthy, but food they will enjoy.
  • New recipes don’t make it onto menus unless customers give their seal of approval.
  • We work closely with head teachers to help schools achieve their objectives and transform their pupils’ lunchtimes.
  • Menus offer a combination of both traditional and international meals, which are served with fresh vegetables, salads, fruit and home baked products.
  • Our meals meet the Government’s standards on school food and are tailored to each school.

We have rigorous standards with regard to food and ingredients. Our food rules include:

  • a no nut policy
  • we do not knowingly make use of any products containing GM ingredients and seek assurances from our suppliers that the products they provide to us do not contain GM ingredients
  • restriction on food additives
  • minimal use of processed products
  • no added salt to cooking
  • steaming of vegetables

If your child has a special dietary requirement, we can still provide them with a meal. We have a formal process for providing meals for children requiring medical diets such as celiac, diabetic or food intolerance.

If this is the case, your first point of contact would be the school’s headteacher, who will inform the school’s catering team.

Please contact your child’s school for a copy of the latest menu.

Contact

Free school meals

fsm@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 297217