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Free school meals scheme extended over Easter and Whitsun school holidays

03 Apr 2023 2 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

Free school meals will continue to be available to children from lower income families across Wales for the Easter and Whitsun school holidays.

Funding for the scheme forms a part of the cooperation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

During the Easter holidays individual local authorities will decide how to administer the free meal provision, either by creating lunches or by providing vouchers or direct payments to eligible families.

With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to have an impact on families across Wales, funding is being provided to offer eligible pupils a free school meal up until the end of the May half term holiday, including all bank holidays during this period.


Families will be eligible for free school meals and free holiday provision if they receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (as long as you don’t also get Working Tax Credit and your annual income is £16,190 or less before tax)
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – your household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “No child should have to worry about going hungry over the school holidays. I am pleased that we have been able to extend free holiday provision to the May half term holiday. We know that food has a huge impact on concentration and children’s overall well-being. I want children and young people to be able to enjoy their school holidays and take pressure off families who are already struggling with the cost of living.

“I would encourage families to find out whether they qualify by speaking to their local authority.”

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian, added: “When the school doors close for the holidays, our support for those who most need it should not come to an end. We are working together to make sure no child goes hungry over the Easter and May school holidays and helping hard-pressed families during the cost-of-living crisis.”

Further information is available here………

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