Summer food payment scheme launched

The Northern Ireland Executive has approved a summer food payment scheme to make payments to families of over 102,000 children during the months of July and August. This scheme is only for those children who were entitled to free school meals on 30 June 2020.  It is specifically to ensure the welfare of children is not impacted by going hungry during the summer holidays, particularly with social distancing requirements impacting on normal summer schemes which provide support, including food, to vulnerable children during the summer.

The payment equates to £2.70 per week day for each eligible child. This will be paid in two instalments over the summer.

How to apply

There is no need to apply. If your child was entitled for free school meals on 30 June 2020 then you will be eligible for the payment and you will receive it automatically in the same way as you received your Free School Meals direct payment for the period up until the end of June.  The free school meals eligibility criteria can be found here.

How will this be paid?

The payments will be made direct to bank accounts, by cheque or by Aspen card on week commencing 6 July and week commencing 3 August 2020.  If you think you are eligible for this payment and do not receive your payment during that week you should contact the Education Authority via this link.

For more information on the scheme, see the FAQs on the Department of Education website.

Family Benefits Advice Service

To find out more about what financial support your family may be entitled to, contact our Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200. Last year we identified an average of £3,500 in financial savings for parents where we completed a personalised ‘better off’ calculation.