THOUSANDS of Herefordshire children and young people in nurseries, schools and colleges are set to benefit from free school meals support during the Christmas holidays.

Primary and secondary school pupils who are entitled to benefits related free school meals will receive a free food voucher up to the value of £40 or equivalent, to cover the cost of a lunchtime meal during the Christmas holidays, directly through their schools.

Children who are eligible for the early year's pupil premium and are not in a school setting, will receive a voucher posted direct from the council.

Councillor Diana Toynbee, cabinet member for Children's and Family Services, and Young People's Attainment, said she is pleased that the Department for Work and Pensions grant has enabled the council to continue to provide the free school meals support this Christmas.


"The rise in the cost of living is proving very tough for many people and Christmas will be a time when families feel it the most, so this additional support is vital," said Coun Toynbee.

"Primary and secondary schools will be contacting parents and carers in good time to let them know that they are entitled to the free school meal vouchers, and how to receive them.

"We want to be sure that all families who need vouchers receive them."

People should contact their child's school directly if they have an eligible child and haven't heard from them as the Christmas holidays approach, or if families think they might qualify.


Eligibility can be checked and apply through the free school meals page on the council's website.

The free school meals food voucher scheme is funded by the department through the government's Household Support Fund to support vulnerable families who are struggling financially.

For more information about the Herefordshire free school meals scheme for the Christmas holidays, visit

School children aged from five to 16 (reception to year 11) who are eligible for benefits related free school meals can also enjoy free activities this Christmas through the Here for Herefordshire Holidays programme.

For more information, visit here.