If you are a parent or carer then your child may be eligible for Free School Meals. This is now managed within Blue Coat Academy using the Link2ICT Free School Meals Eligibility Checking Service.
You can apply online or download a form which should be returned to the school. Alternatively please call into reception and pick up an application form in person.
There is a Guide which will help you through the online application process and Frequently Asked Questions about the Link2ICT Checking Service.
We understand that some families are unsure about applying for Free School Meals. However, we would like to reassure you that entitlement to Free School Meals is kept private and confidential and encourage everyone to log on and apply regardless of your current income status.
More details about Free School Meals is available at www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
Support, resources and ideas
As a school, we offer a free breakfast club for any students from 7.30a.m. on all school days. This is open to any students – they can just turn up and pick up some breakfast.
Apps offering free/reduced priced food
There are a number of apps that can be loaded on to your phone or device to help you access free or reduced-price food. One example is the Too Good To Go app where supermarkets, bakeries, cafes and restaurants offer a ‘magic bag’ of food at a reduced price. These will probably be items that are nearing their sell-by date. You will not know what is in the bag until you pick it up at the agreed time slot. Another example is the Olio app where individuals, as well as businesses, advertise food that is either free or for sale at a reduced cost. To access items, simply browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up and a price (if necessary, as some items are free).
You can find more information about Too Good To Go here (To Good to Go) and the Olio app here (Olio).
Food banks are grassroots, community organisations aimed at supporting people who cannot afford the essentials in life. The Trussell Trust supports 1200 food banks across the UK with two-thirds of the UK’s food banks in its network. In order to get help from a food bank, you will need to be referred with a voucher, which can be issued by a number of local community organisations (for instance schools, GPs and advice agencies). Your local food bank can advise which agencies can help. Have a look at Trussell Trust for further information.
Food On Our Doorstep (FOOD) clubs
Family Action run a number of Food On Our Doorstep (FOOD) clubs across the country. They provide good-quality food at a low cost, while also reducing food waste. It costs just £1 a year membership fee for a family. Once you’ve joined, you can purchase a bag of tasty food items every week worth approx. £10-£15 for just £3.50. To become a member you must live or work within approximately 15 minutes of a club. No referrals are necessary. Other organisations run their own version of this concept so please check locally for your nearest club. You can find more information here – Family Action.
Does your area have one of these? A Community Fridge is a space where surplus food is shared for free with the aim of reducing food waste. Fridges are usually stocked by local businesses sharing food that would not otherwise be sold in time and it can also include fresh produce from local gardeners or food gifted from households. Anyone can access a community fridge. Have a look here to see if you have one near you – Community Fridges.
Websites selling reduced price food
There are websites such as Approved Food or Cheapfood who sell reduced price food. Most food is near to or even past their best before date. Some food is not, but it may have a something such as out of date packaging. They even offer a home delivery service which is free when you spend a certain amount. You can find Cheapfood here (Cheapfood) and Approved Food here (Approved Food).
Many community organisations offer reasonably priced food or meals. For example, you may have a local community run café where you will be able to access a low cost breakfast or lunch. This organization provide free weekly cooked meals from surplus goods for anyone who wants or needs one. You can find out more here – Food Cycle.
Holiday Activity & Food Programme (HAF) – Walsall Council
Please see poster below or visit https://go.walsall.gov.uk/children-and-young-people/holiday-activities-programme-haf for more information.