Apply for free school meals for your child


If you are the parent or guardian of a child in school, they may be eligible for free school meals.

If your child is in primary school, this would include one free lunch a day. For children in secondary school, this would include daily allowance to pay for their lunch.

The information about who receives free school meals is private. 

Free school meals have changed

The Free School Meals scheme (eFSM) requires eligible parents and guardians to apply. 

But with the rollout of Universal Primary Free School Meals (UPFSM), all children in primary school in Wales will receive free school meals by September 2024. 

All children in primary school in Torfaen now receive them. 

Apply for eFSM to receive other support

You should still apply for eFSM if you’re eligible even when the rollout of UPFSM means your child already receives free school meals.

This is because:


You may be eligible if you are a parent or guardian of a child in school, and you receive one of these benefits:  

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income-related)
  • Child Tax Credit (you are not eligible if you also receive Working Tax Credit)
  • Pension Credit
  • Help under Immigration and Asylum Seekers Act 1999
  • Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit, your household earnings must be less than £7,400 a year after tax. This does not include any income from benefits. 


Make an application for eFSM if you are eligible, even if your child already receives free school meals with the rollout of UPFSM.

You can apply any time. 

To apply, you will need your:   

  • contact details
  • child's details
  • child's school name
  • National Insurance number (if available)

Apply for Free School Meals / School Essentials Grant

What happens next?

You will get an email from us to confirm if and when your child will start receiving free school meals. 


If you have any questions about your application or need help to apply, you can: 

You can also contact your school if you have any questions or need help applying.

Last Modified: 10/01/2024
For more information contact:

Revenues and Benefits - Free School Meals


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