Help and information for parents and carers
The Department for Education national Free School Meals voucher scheme has now ended. However, we are working directly with several local authorities and schools to deliver Free School Meal vouchers to cover the school holidays and for pupils that cannot attend school because they are isolating.
This means that you may still receive support in the form of ‘Select Grocery’ free school meals vouchers through your school or local authority. Please check with your individual school if you are unsure how you will receive this support.
How does it work?
If your school or local authority is working with Edenred UK, they will email or post a 16-digit eCode that you can redeem online from a selection of supermarket ‘eGift cards’.
Alternatively, if you do not have an email address or access to the internet, your school can print off the voucher, or ‘eGift card’, and post it to your home address, or arrange a collection if easy and safe to do so.
Take the eGift card in-store and present it at the till to pay for food and groceries up to the value of the eGift card (some eGift cards can be spent online, please see the FAQs for details)
What supermarkets are available on the scheme?
Frequently asked questions about the free school meals voucher scheme
Please check here for answers to common questions. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please contact your school for specific queries regarding eligibility, frequency and value of eCodes or eGift cards.
What’s the difference between an eCode and an eGift card?
eCode – this is a unique 16-digit number which will be sent to you by email or post from your school administrator. You will need to exchange this eCode for a supermarket eGift card of your choice from www.selectyourcompliment.co.uk/grocery. You cannot use the eCode directly with the retailer, it must be exchanged for an eGift card first.
eGift card – you can choose an eGift card from a selection of supermarkets, such as Tesco or Morrisons. To order an eGift card, exchange your 16-digit eCode at www.selectyourcompliment.co.uk/grocery. The eGift card will be sent to the email address entered during check-out and can be spent in-store at the chosen supermarket. Your school may select your eGift card for you and either print it and post it to you or arrange for you to collect it.What supermarkets are available?
How often will I receive the supermarket voucher?
- McColl’s (including RS McColl’s and Martin’s)
- M&S food
- The Company Shop
Your school will have flexibility in how often they will send you an eCode or an eGift card. Any queries about free school meals eligibility or your eCode or eGift cards should be directed to your school in the first instance.What is the value of the eCode?
This is stated in the email or letter sent by the school.
What can be purchased in store with the eGift card?
The eGift card is issued to parents in respect of the free school meal benefit and will only be accepted in store for the purchase of food and groceries.How do I use a supermarket eGift card?
A supermarket eGift card is a digital voucher. The eGift card email contains a barcode or a link to a see a barcode online which can be presented at the till in-store either on a smartphone screen or printed on a piece of paper, just like a gift card (some eGift cards can be spent online, please see the FAQs for details).I’m not able to get to the supermarket?
You can forward the supermarket eGift card to someone else to purchase goods on your behalf if you’re not able to get to the supermarket. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store, just like a gift card. Some eGift cards can be spent online, please see the FAQs for details. You can also contact your school directly to see if there are any alternatives available.I have more than one child, will I receive multiple eCodes?
This will be at the discretion of your school who may issue an eCode for each of your children or, alternatively, may send one eCode to you for the total value of your children’s free school meal entitlement. Any queries about free school meals eligibility or your eCode or eGift cards should be directed to your school.