PARENTS of children entitled to free school meals are now being offered a direct payment or supermarket vouchers to cover the cost, in four of Gwent's five council areas.

Initially, all five Gwent councils provided free school meals to students living in their area who were entitled to them, when schools closed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

However, within the last month or so, Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire councils have all decided to offer a direct payment or supermarket voucher to cover the cost of the child’s meal.

Caerphilly County Borough Council is the only council in Gwent still providing free school meals.


In Newport, parents of children entitled to free school meals can receive a supermarket voucher each week worth £39.

There is not an application process and vouchers will be issued to each eligible child.

They can be redeemed in all branches of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

In Blaenau Gwent, parents will receive £19.50 a week (£3.90 per day). This works out as £1 for breakfast and £2.90 for lunch.

This will be deposited into the parent’s bank account for “nutritious meals”.

In April, Monmouthshire and Torfaen replaced free school meals with a direct bank payment to eligible parents.

In Caerphilly, children continue to receive frozen meals, which can be delivered to the child’s home.

For more information on applying for free school meals visit your local council’s website.