Rebuilding a fairer Hackney - Free school meal vouchers for Hackney children and young people over Easter

School children

Every school pupil in Hackney who is entitled to free meals at school is being offered vouchers for free school meals over the Easter holidays, with extra support available for families with younger children in need and local college students from lower-income households. 

The vouchers will be provided to registered families with school-aged children electronically via the national free school meal voucher system Edenred. 12,800 school pupils in Hackney are eligible for free school meals. Parents can check if their child is eligible and apply online, to ensure that they get the support they need. 

Vouchers will also be offered to over 1,200 families with children under 5 who’ve been identified as needing additional support and college students from Hackney who’re over 19 and in receipt of bursaries. Extra funding has also been given to organisations in Hackney’s Orthodox Jewish communities - where the take-up of free school meals is lower - who provide food to families in need. 

This support will extend the free school meals offer provided to Hackney school pupils and low-income families with nursery-aged children over the Christmas and February half-term holidays, and the Council and Citizen Advice Bureau’s fuel vouchers scheme which helped residents in need pay their bills over winter. 

The free meal support and fuel vouchers will continue to be funded through the Government’s winter grant funding, which has been extended until 16 April as part of the national roadmap out of lockdown. 

Residents who are unable to pay for their bills can apply for fuel vouchers by contacting Citizens Advice Hackney on 020 3855 4472, Monday to Friday, 10am-12pm, and 2pm-4pm, or by texting 'Help' to 07860041410.

Wider support can be found on the Council’s website or by calling the Council’s Here to Help phoneline on 020 8356 3111, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

Anne Canning, Group Director for Children, Adults and Community Health
This additional support offer will continue to help families, individuals and our local young people over the Easter holidays, to help ensure that no child goes hungry this Easter. 

Help is available in Hackney, and we’d strongly encourage parents to check if their child is eligible for free school meal vouchers to ensure that you get the support you’re entitled to. 

There’s also a range of wider support for local families and individuals in need, including fuel vouchers for residents who’re struggling to pay bills, distributed through the Citizens Advice Bureau. Please do get in touch if you or someone you know needs support, help or advice.
Anne Canning, Group Director for Children, Adults and Community Health