Sweet potato fries, salad and broccoli on a tray for school lunch

Extra funding for free school meals for primary pupils

Published: 21 February 2023
Filed under: Communications

All primary pupils in Waltham Forest will be able to benefit from free school meals for the academic year 2023/24, starting in September.

With the cost of food continuing to rise, many families are struggling to make ends meet.

The Mayor of London’s announcement of £130m emergency funding, means Waltham Forest families will save around £440 for every child at primary school. The cost of the scheme will be taken from one-off funding through additional London-wide business rates income.

At present, a child only qualifies for a free school meal if their family is receiving Universal Credit and has an annual income of under £7,400. This means many children who need help are missing out.

Waltham Forest Council’s catering service provides millions of healthy and hot school meals across the borough every year. Since the pandemic, we have stepped up our help to families, providing free school meals in the holidays and giving schools £300,000 extra funding for breakfasts.  

We will now work with our school catering service and schools to extend free school meals in our primary schools and will share more details with residents soon. 

Find out more about our full programme of support for residents during the cost of living crisis.