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Families of almost 20,000 pupils in Devon will receive help to buy food

Published: 5 December 2022

Families are receiving supermarket vouchers

Families in Devon on low incomes whose children receive free school meals will get support this winter to help them buy food during the holidays.

Before the end of this term each eligible child will automatically be sent a £45 supermarket voucher to use during the Christmas holiday and February half term break to replace the meals they would have had at school during the day.

It’s the equivalent of £15 per child per week of the two school holidays and is being distributed in one lump sum now to allow families some flexibility on how they spend the vouchers and try to help with the additional pressure the festive period puts on household budgets.

Around 1,000 more children have become eligible for free school meals over the last year, rising to around 19,500 pupils in the county.

The Government’s Household Support Fund gas allowed means Devon County Council has been able to buy almost £900,000 worth of supermarket vouchers to support families during the Christmas and February half- term holidays so children don’t go hungry.

With the end of term fast approaching, vouchers have already been sent to families whose children currently receive free school meals. Those eligible should check their inbox and redeem them.

Anyone expecting to receive the vouchers but hasn’t should email Devon County Council at or call 0345 155 1019.

People’s circumstances change all the time – anyone who didn’t previously qualify for free school meals but has recently seen their income reduced or stopped should apply online. It’s the quickest and easiest way for eligibility to be assessed and applicants will get an instant decision.

For details of community support, and for more information about the support schemes administered by the City Council, visit our


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