Health and wellbeing Coronavirus - Benefits and money

Help with food costs while schools are closed

Last updated 2.43pm Wednesday 29 April

The Government’s free school meal voucher scheme went live on Monday 20 April.

As a result our temporary COVID-19 our free school meal scheme has now closed. 

All parents and carers of eligible children should contact their school to receive free school meal vouchers via this scheme.

Information about the national free school meals scheme

Hardship - To support families, with no existing entitlement to free school meals facing hardship

Because schools have closed and some families are facing additional financial challenges due to the COVID-19 virus, we want to continue to provide support to families, who need it most.
We are providing a financial grant to parents and carers of the following groups of school age children and young people. The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £2 per day (£10 per week) for each school age child or young person in the household.
To qualify the family must be:

  • a Manchester resident or supported by our homelessness service; and 
  • whose family has been hardest hit by the recent issues.

Circumstances could include:

  • an immediate drop in income, not covered by the means tested benefits regime
  • a decrease in income if self-employed
  • waiting for a Universal Credit claim to be paid
  • domestic violence or family displacement
  • other immediate need or hardship arising from COVID-19.

Each case will be considered on its own merits.

Where appropriate other support may be considered to support families including fuel and food grants.

Residents who have become unemployed or experienced a substantial fall in income due to COVID-19 are strongly advised to claim Universal Credit and Council Tax Support or seek other available financial support from the Government. See our Coronavirus - Benefits and money webpage for more advice.

Visit for more information and guidance on free school meals.

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