School holiday meal vouchers: everywhere you can spend them and restrictions
If you're a parent who will receive the government’s £90 school dinner allowance over the summer holidays, here’s what you need to know.
The Covid Summer Food Fund means schools can support eligible pupils through the seven weeks of the summer holidays.
How do I get my voucher?
Schools in England required parents to sign their children up to the scheme before the break began on July 13th.
Schools will have emailed or texted you a 16 digit eCode.
This must then be entered on the Free School Meals website to redeem an eGift Card which can be spent in-store by scanning or entering the barcode at checkout.
How much will I get and what can I buy?
Parents receive a £90 voucher to cover the 6-week holiday period.
This averages £15 a week, the same as the term-time allowance.
The voucher can only be redeemed on food and groceries.
Where can I spend my voucher?
This is the list of stores currently accepting the vouchers:
- M&S food
- McColl’s (including RS McColl’s and Martin’s)
- Company Shop
Can I spend my voucher online?
Currently, only Asda and Waitrose (John Lewis) accept vouchers online.
Can someone spend the voucher on my behalf?
Yes, vouchers can be forwarded via email to others.
If you have an Iceland eGift card, the card number should be entered at the till.
I've ordered my code but it hasn't arrived, what do I do?
With most school staff now on holiday, it is best to contact Edenred, the company running the project, directly.
Their website contains more information on the scheme as a whole as well as helpful email addresses and contact phone numbers
Can I use my eGift card at different supermarkets?
Yes, you can mix and match provided the total you choose for each shop matches the overall total of the voucher.
Once you receive your online eCode, visit the Free School Meals website to organise the different amounts on your eGift card.
How long do my eCode and eGift card last?
The exact eCode expiry date will be listed in the email you received but all last at least one month.
If the eCode expires, it is cancelled and the money returned to the Department of Education.
School meal voucher expiration dates by supermarket
WE'VE put together how long each eGift card lasts to make it easier for you to plan your shopping trips:
Morrisons and Company Shop Group – one year.
Waitrose (John Lewis), M&S Food, Asda and Sainsbury's – two years from your last transaction.
Tesco and Aldi last five years from last time you use it
McColls – 31 December 2020
Can I refund my eGift card or exchange it for cash?
No, once ordered eGift cards cannot be refunded or exchanged.
Can I save up my eCodes?
No, the full value of the code needs to be spent in one transaction.
Most supermarkets accept multiples of £1 per eGift card, however, some other supermarkets have larger fixed amounts that can be ordered, e.g £10.
Take advantage of the 'Eat Out to Help Out' discounts at KFC, McDonald’s, Nando’s and Costa Coffee
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