Health and wellbeing Coronavirus - Benefits and money

Help with food costs while schools are closed

Last updated 2.15pm, Wednesday 25 March

We want to ensure that all our children and young people have access to a lunchtime meal. 

We have the following arrangements in place to support families during this period:

Please read this information carefully before making application

Eligibility

  • Children must be born between 31/08/04 and 01/09/2014 to be eligible.
  • Preschool and early years children are not eligible 

Free school meal pupils - School age children who would normally receive a free school meal from the school

This is based on household income or due to being an asylum seeker.

The government has advised that they expect to have a new scheme up and running in the near future. They intend to issue vouchers directly to families. This will not be up and running for a few weeks.

Because of this, the Council has made local arrangements to support families until the national voucher scheme is in place. Some schools are picking this up by providing lunches and vouchers and other schools have asked the Council to make payments on their behalf.

If your school is not providing support and you normally receive free school meals due to low income please make a claim for support.

We cannot make a payment if your school has alternative arrangements in place. 

The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £2.00 per day (£10 per week) for each school child or young person in the household.

We will be able to pay this money within a few days by the following methods

  • A bank transfer into a nominated bank account, which is the quickest option
  • A secure text message that can be used to access cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city
  • A voucher that can be printed and can then be exchanged for cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city.

Parents can make an application please submit a request via the Council’s Welfare Provision Scheme.

The DfE have confirmed that schools will be reimbursed for the cost of provision of FSM prior to the launch of the national FSM voucher scheme, given this schools will be recharged for the cost of the payments when using the Council's scheme.  Should schools wish to continue with their own arrangements please send notification of opting out to finance4schools@manchester.gov.uk

Hardship - To support to families facing hardship

Because schools have closed and some families are facing additional financial challenges due to the Covid 19 virus, we want to provide support to families, who most need it.

We are providing a financial grant to parents and carers of the following groups of school age children and young people.

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 and may be waiting for benefits to be assessed or have a gap in their income due to being laid off etc.

The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £2 per day (£10 per week) for each school age child or young person in the household.

We will be able to pay this money within a few days by the following methods

  • A bank transfer into a nominated bank account
  • A secure text message that can be used to access cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city
  • A voucher that can be printed and can then be exchanged for cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city.    

To make an application, families need to submit a request via the Council’s Welfare Provision Scheme.

The costs of support to families facing hardship will be met by the Local Authority and will still be offered after the national voucher scheme for FSM is launched.
 

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