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M&S topping up £15 school meal vouchers to £20 for low income families in England

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Families with children in England who qualify for school meals (Gov.uk has eligibility criteria) are eligible for a £15 voucher per week per child (£20 if a parent picks an M&S voucher), as long as your school has chosen to give these vouchers instead of food parcels. The vouchers can be sent to parents to cover the four weeks between Monday 18 January and Friday 12 February.

If your school has chosen to give these food vouchers, it will email you a 16-digit code, which you can then redeem online for an e-gift card of your choice. You can get £15 to spend at Aldi, Asda, Company Shop Group, Iceland, McColl’s, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose, or £20 at M&S (it’ll show as a £15 voucher but M&S says the additional £5 will be automatically added within a few hours of receipt). Alternatively, your school can select a gift card, print it, and post it to you.

How long is a voucher valid for?

The voucher works in the same way as a gift card, so you don’t need to spend it all in one go and they have long expiry dates, between 12 months and five years. See Edenred (the company that distributes the vouchers) for more details, what to do if your code doesn’t arrive, as well as other frequently asked questions.