Schools can arrange food parcels for pupils at home

Schools can provide meals or food parcels for collection or delivery for eligible pupils staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated guidance from the government says: "As schools open more widely, and their kitchens reopen, we expect schools to make food parcels available for collection or delivery for any children that are eligible for free school meals who are staying at home.

"Arranging food parcels helps ensure that eligible children have access to a healthy free meal, and can also help the school to stay in contact with those families. We know that many schools have made excellent food parcel arrangements throughout this period."

It does say however that if a school catering service cannot provide meals or food parcels for children who are at home, they can continue to offer vouchers to families of eligible pupils.

The DfE has published a planning guide for schools which includes suggested approaches to school meals for those at school, including lunch arrangements which mean children do not mix with children from other groups.

The DfE says schools can claim for additional costs incurred in supporting free school meals pupils, for example by providing vouchers for an alternative local retailer.

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