Free school meals

New direct payment system for free school meals - COVID-19


We have put in place a system to make sure your child or children get their free school meal entitlement during the coronavirus emergency.

From Monday 6 April, you will now receive one £20 voucher once per week for each eligible child. This will come to you by text, email or by post. How you get your voucher depends on the contact details we have for you.

You can take this voucher to any shop which has Paypoint. You can find your nearest Paypoint shops on their website at

Here's how it works:

1)      Go to a Paypoint shop near you.

2)      Select your food and take it the counter. You then exchange your voucher for cash.

3)      You must spend it in the shop where you exchange your voucher.

You must spend your cash in the shop where you exchange your voucher for two reasons:

  • Firstly you must not make any unnecessary journeys to comply with government guidance.
  • Secondly you will be supporting your local business.

We monitor the Paypoint system to ensure that vouchers are being used. Almost everyone in North Lanarkshire is already following these rules. Please follow the rules above to ensure that you aren't increasing the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Some shops might refuse to take the voucher and usually this is because people are not spending the voucher in their shop so they are running out of money. If this happens you should go to your next nearest Paypoint shop.

The message will be sent either as a text message to your mobile phone, by email or as a printed copy if you don't have internet access.

Funding for the additional element of this provision has come from the £3m emergency fund, which has been set up by the council to deal with the health crisis.

Please email if you require any further information. 

We are aware of fraudulent emails circulating asking for bank details of those with children entitled to free school meals.
Please be aware that we do not require your bank details.

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