Free School Meal Voucher Scheme Delivers for Children and Families


Edenred delivered the equivalent of 128 million meals to children in England through the Free School Meal Voucher Scheme which closed at the beginning of September.

The scheme launched in March to ensure the 1.3 million children who receive free school meals got support they needed through the Covid-19 lockdown. It was extended three times to cover the Easter, May half term and Summer holidays and, by the time it closed had been used by 92% of schools in England to claim £384m in Free School Meal Vouchers for parents and carers. 

Feedback from parents and schools showed overwhelming support for its positive impact. Some 94% of parents and carers said they were satisfied with the scheme and 93% of schools said the vouchers were a good alternative for delivering food support for families.

By the end of the scheme, Edenred had increased the range of participating retailers from six at launch to 10, providing them with the support they needed to use the eGift cards.

Edenred built a new platform to deliver the scheme based around its Select platform which managed the interface between the DfE, schools, parents and supermarkets.

The scheme was delivered at cost to the taxpayer so that every pound spent by the DfE was converted into Free School Meal Vouchers.