Somerset County Council

Free school meals


Applications are taking longer than 10 working days to process. We are doing them as quickly as we can. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Children who attend a Somerset County Council school, whose parents or carers receive certain benefits may be entitled to free school meals. 

Only the benefits listed here - and no other benefits - qualify you for free school meals for your children.

These are the benefits.

  • Universal Credit with an annual household income of less than £7,400 after tax
  • Income Support (IS) 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income related) - not Contribution related 
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA) - not Contribution based 
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit. 
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual taxable income (as assessed by HMRC) of less than £16,190, as long as the family is not also in receipt of Working Tax Credit. 

If you have recently become unemployed, but are still receiving Working Tax Credits, you may be entitled to free school meals. Please phone us on 0300 123 2224 for advice.

Children must be in school all day and they will be provided with a meal at lunchtime which is paid for by the school.

It is the responsibility of the parents or carers to register their entitlement and request free school meals for their children.

Children in pre-school or nursery (known as childcare providers) do not qualify for a free meal until they start school, but applications will be processed so that when your child starts school, you will already be notified whether they qualify for a free school meal or not.  

To apply, please fill in this online form

Apply now

Or you can print out a copy of the Application form for free meals at school, fill it in and take the completed form to your child's school, or send it to - Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY. 

You do not need to send evidence with this application. If we need evidence later, we will ask you for it.

We will check your eligibility, let you know and, if you are eligible, tell you how to start receiving free school meals - usually within 10 working days.

If your child is entitled to a free school meal, but requires a special medical diet, we can arrange for an appropriate meal to be provided. You must ask your doctor to write a letter explaining which foods must be avoided.

Once free school meals have been awarded to a child, they will remain in place for that child until at least March 2022 - whether your circumstances change or not - when it will be reviewed in line with the latest government requirements.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Universal Infant Free School Meals
Every child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is entitled to a Universal Infant Free School Meal. Each school is responsible for providing this and they may ask you to fill in an application form to show that you require a meal for your child or children. Therefore, please contact your school to discuss arranging a meal, or fill in the Universal Infant Free School Meal application form and hand it in to your child's school.


Contact: Children and Young People's Team
Address: Customer Contact, PO Box 618, Taunton, TA1 3WF
Phone: 0300 123 2224 (please select option 1)
Fax: 01823 321187

Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed. 

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