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School meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

Children who get any of the above benefits in their own right (they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get free school meals. Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be able to get free school meals.

To find out more, please contact your child's school.

Special dietary requirements

We aim to provide school meals for pupils with dietary requirements or allergies. These are not for pupils with a dislike of certain foods.

If your child has a dietary requirement, please contact your child's school.

We are supporting World Food Week

During World Food Week and on World Food Day, the School Meals Service get involved in fighting world hunger and help children learn more about food security.

The World Food Programme aims to get food to where it’s most needed through working in partnerships with schools throughout the UK.

Darlington’s School Meals 5 day World Food Menu aims to support the World Food Programme by donating 10 meals through purchased ingredients.


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