Parents reminded that school meal support continues over the summer holidays

Parents reminded that school meal support continues over the summer holidays

Parents reminded that school meal support continues over the summer holidays

Glasgow, Scotland – June 13, 2024: Scottish parents are being reminded that they could be eligible for extra payments over the school holidays to cover the cost of meals for their children.

Advice Direct Scotland is urging households to check if they qualify for support before schools break up for the summer later this month.

Households normally eligible for free school meals during term-time should automatically start receiving payments of £2.50 per day, per child during the holidays.

While exact holiday dates vary by council, this means that a household with two children could be entitled to around £150 over the course of the six-week summer break.

Those who have not yet applied for free school meals, or who might start claiming benefits over the holidays due to a change in circumstances, are being urged to take action.

All children in P1 to P5 at schools run by local councils currently receive free school lunches during term-time, regardless of their family circumstances. Children in P6 and above continue to qualify if they are from a low-income household.

Over the summer holidays, the Scottish Government also provides funding for children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits.

Payments are set at £2.50 per day, per child, for each day of the holidays excluding weekends.

Families in receipt of free school meals before the Easter holidays received a payment of around £30 per child. Over the summer, the payment will be around £75 per child.

To qualify, people must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (where monthly earned income is not more than £796)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 

You can also get help if you receive:

  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £19,995
  • Both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and have an income of up to £9,552

People who are not currently eligible but start receiving one of the above benefits during the summer holidays can apply for the extra support immediately.

Applications can be made through councils or online at Those unable to fill out the application can contact the team at for help by phone or online.

The form only takes around 20 minutes to fill in. Applicants will need the dates of birth of any children they have, their partner’s details if applicable and their bank details. provides free, practical advice and information on any topic, including access to benefits and whether households are claiming all the support they are entitled to.

The team can be contacted on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm), or through

Conor Forbes, policy director at Advice Direct Scotland, said:

“As we approach the summer holidays, it’s important that people are aware of the support available to help them provide healthy meals for their children.

“We know that many Scots are finding things extremely difficult when it comes to their household finances due to the cost-of-living crisis, and will be worried about a range of holiday-related expenses.

“The good news is that for those whose children are eligible for free school meals, payments are available throughout the summer, so we would urge anyone who might benefit to apply now.

“Anyone worried or confused can call Advice Direct Scotland, where we have a wide range of services available to everyone at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.”