Free School meals provision in Leeds during Covid-19

You may be interested in the information below which I have received from the Learning Improvement Team at the Council:

Wider picture about Free School Meals during Covid-19

I thought you might appreciate further details about free school meals distribution in Leeds.

Some schools in Leeds subscribe to Catering Leeds and some have their own providers.

When the schools first closed, Catering Leeds arranged for free school meals, in the form of daily grab bags to be delivered to hub schools from which they could be picked up. Some changes were made to this arrangement subsequently, as families found it easier to have weekly hampers instead. Currently, Catering Leeds make up 7,500 grab bags and 2,500 hampers.

Schools with private providers made similar arrangements.

Some schools with private providers of who used Catering Leeds chose instead to source vouchers which could be sent to parents and redeemed in local supermarkets. There have been assurances from central government that schools will be reimbursed for this expenditure.

Subsequent to this, the Government announced a national voucher scheme which would be administered through its supplier, Edenred. Unfortunately, the scheme could not cope with demand and many schools were frustrated in their attempts to log on or contact them. The Government is working to improve the system and we have had reports that schools have been more successful this week in using this system.