FM Catering – School Meal/Food Provision & Charges

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The government has now provided updated guidance, as per the link below, which has clarified the position in respect of the requirements for the provision of school meals and food packages etc and the funding thereof.

Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


Accordingly the position of FM in respect of school meals being provided on site remains as follows:

• Children who would normally pay for a school meal will be charged for a school meal taken during the new lockdown.
• Children who are eligible for free school meals (FSM & UIFSM) will not be charged for a school meal taken during the new lockdown.
• Adult meals will be chargeable to the individual unless school has specifically indicated that they will pay for adult meals.

The position in respect of providing food to children not attending school is that, depending on local circumstances, schools could choose to either:
• provide food parcels through the school catering team or food provider
• provide vouchers for a local shop or supermarket
• using the Department for Education’s national voucher scheme, which will reopen shortly
Where schools choose to provide food parcels through their catering provider and where this is FM:

• FM will make available weekly food packages, within the schools it operates in and where requested by the school, as an alternative to vouchers, at a separate charge of £3.50 per child per week to cover the additional cost of food and packaging etc.
• Such a charge is reclaimable by the school, at £3.50 per child per week, for those children who are eligible for free meals under benefits criteria. Any provision to children not eligible under benefits criteria will be at a cost to the school.

Please note this assumes the average cost per pack is approxima Telephone y £7.50 per week, of which £4 per week (80p per day) for food is already covered within the funding provided by government to schools, and in the normal contract FM charges and that no further costs are incurred.

FM main service charges will be issued based, as in the Spring/Summer 2020 lockdown, on normal contract levels on the basis that, as per the government guidance, funding for this has been provided to schools to enable onsite service to be maintained and staffing costs etc to be covered.

However, and again as previously, the costs for the period 01/01 to 31/03/21 will be recalculated, compared to the charges that have initially been raised for that period and, where appropriate, adjustments made accordingly. Please note this will have to be done retrospectively during the summer term.

Some individual schools may require different charging arrangements, ie schools may choose to fund all meals during the lockdown, and if this is the case please contact your service delivery manager.
For any general queries regarding the above please in the 1st instance contact your Business Relationship Manager, either James Wightman - Telephone : 07582 100884 or Karen Raymond – – Telephone 07582 100457


Published: 12/01/2021
Audience: School Business Managers and Head Teachers
Contact: Paul Charity

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