Free School Meals payments – coronavirus
We are changing the way we will provide free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to make it easier for families to access.
From the week beginning Monday, May 4, the majority of eligible families will receive payments into their bank / building society accounts.
As well as making it easier for families, this also follows Government guidance regarding essential travel.
The payments will be made every fortnight so that parents / guardians can continue to provide breakfast and lunch, five days a week for their child / children.
In some cases, we will be arranging a weekly delivery of food packs instead. Those families will be contacted directly to make the necessary arrangements.
In order to set up a payment, we will need to verify a few details from families, and you will also need to provide us with your bank details using the form below. Please note the council will never phone you and ask for your bank details.
Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “We have been reviewing how we have been providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak, and due to Government guidance in relation to essential travel, we have decided to make payments to families to allow them to buy the food they need for their children for both breakfast and lunch, five days a week.
“This also means we can make sure we are reaching all free school meals families instead of relying on them to collect food packs from us. It is vital that we continue to provide free school meals during this extremely difficult time.
“No child who would ordinarily receive a free school meal should go without while their school is closed or while they are having to self-isolate at home.”
Families should submit only one form for all children that are eligible for free school meals as soon as possible to avoid a delay in the first payment. We will be processing applications as quickly as possible and you will be notified when you are to receive your first payment.
Please do not complete the form if you are not registered for free school meals. If circumstances have changed and you are now in receipt of certain benefits you could be eligible for free school meals, full details on eligibility and how to apply is on our website.
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria to receive free school meals but still need support, please call our helpline on 01267 234567 between 8.30am and 6pm seven days a week or e-mail email@example.com
For further information on the application process or payments please email FreeSchoolMeals@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
We need to ensure that payments are made to a bank account which is in the name of the claimant for free school meals. We also need to make sure the details are accurate to avoid any payments not being made. All data will be deleted when not required. This is a financial regulations requirement and cannot be waived.
If you are unable to upload a copy of a recent bank statement or take a photo of your debit card please post your bank statement, including your name and telephone number, to Building 2, Parc Dewi Sant, Jobs Well Road, Carmarthen SA31 3HB. A member of the team will then call you to complete the form over the telephone. Your document will be returned to you by post.
Payment of £39 per child will be made every fortnight (£3.90 per day x 10 school days). The payment of £3.90 is to cover breakfast and lunch for your child, five days a week. This should be used to purchase food only.
Please send a copy of your shielding letter from Welsh Government to Building 2, Parc Dewi Sant, Jobs Well Road, Carmarthen SA31 3HB and we can then arrange a delivery.
The first payments are being made to families on May 5, 6 and 7.
Applications are being processed as quickly as possible; however, it does take a few days to set up. You will be notified by email when you are to receive your first payment.
However, families that have not completed an online form in time to receive a payment this week will be delivered a food parcel instead, and a payment next week. You will receive an email to inform you.
Payments will then be made fortnightly.
Please keep checking your emails, just in case we require any additional information, and also check your spam just in case.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the council has been providing a monthly food parcel to families of children eligible for free school meals. During this time, we have also been providing support to food banks throughout the county, which have been experiencing high demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We want to make sure that we can continue to support people in need for as long as possible and that our funds are targeted in the right areas. As a result, we are changing the way that we provide support to those in need of food supplies and will be directing those in need of continued support instead to their nearest food bank.
The existing funding and donations available to food banks is insufficient to meet the increased demand within communities. The council will therefore continue to provide financial support to food banks so that we can carry on helping people who are in financial crisis at this time.
The funding support for these food banks will continue until the end of September when a further review will be carried out. It is hoped by this time, that there will be an easing of restrictions, allowing schools to reopen and for people to return to work where possible.
The council is delivering several support programmes that can help residents facing hardship at this difficult time. If you require any support, or information on your local food bank, please call us on 01267 234567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and we will do what we can to help.
During this period of uncertainty, it is important to maintain good nutrition and hydration. It’s recommended that children are provided with three regular well-balanced meals per day and appropriate snacks in between. Regular meals can help provide structure to new daily routines.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Welsh Government has made funding available for the provision of payments in place of free school meals. Your payments should be spent on food for your children. In practice, your payments will supplement your family’s budget for food shopping.
The Welsh Local Government Association has produced this handy leaflet with useful tips on planning, shopping and preparing food for your family, along with a list of useful ingredients.