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Free School Meals

Eat healthily with a free ‘school dinner’

Parents across the Royal Borough are being encouraged to apply for healthy free school meals for their children.

A new campaign featuring posters and leaflets with the ‘Kids Eat Free’ message aims to remind parents that if they receive any one of a number of state benefits, then they are entitled to claim a free meal for their school aged children (ages 4 to 16).

Free school meals are a national entitlement for all school aged children whose parents receive the relevant benefits. Plans by the Government to widen free school meals next September for all under-7s do not affect this scheme – and the Royal Borough is encouraging anyone with school aged children to apply for free school meals now.

Free meals can mean a saving for parents of between £270 and £340 a year for each child.

The Royal Borough was one of the first local authorities in the country to recognise the importance of a healthy meal in the middle of the day, and the work done by local schools with Jamie Oliver helped pioneer a national drive towards healthier meals.

Experts agree that a healthy meal in the middle of the day improves children’s concentration and helps keep them active.

Local schools cook nutritious fresh meals every day, using only fresh ingredients. There is a different menu each day, and a choice of main dish. Vegetarian alternatives are available, and religious requirements can be met.

By signing up for free school meals, there is no obligation for your child to have a school meal five days a week. Parents can opt to provide a packed lunch on some days, if your child prefers.

Daily meals are available free of charge if your child goes to a borough school and if you receive one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, providing you do not receive Working Tax Credit and  your annual income is no more than £16,190
  • Pension Credit Guarantee and Child Tax Credit.

Cllr Jackie Smith, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We encourage everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and the fresh and nutritious food provided in our schools each day makes an important contribution to this. All parents should consider the benefits of opting for school meals, whether or not they are eligible for a free one.”

To apply for free school meals, ask at the school office for assistance, or visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/schoolmeals for further information and the application form.

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