Almost 2,000 families in Northern Ireland entitled to free school meals are not receiving the money because they do not have a bank account

Almost 2,000 families entitled to free school meals in Northern Ireland are not receiving money because they do not have a bank account.

During school closures, the Department of Education is paying £2.50 per day per child to families who are struggling financially. But 1,812 families across Northern Ireland are reported to be missing out because they only have a Post Office account (currently ineligible for the payment scheme).

In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, different systems operate to provide families with free school meal provisions during school closure.

While direct payments operate for the families of Northern Ireland’s 97,000 children who would usually benefit from a free school meal, in England a voucher system have been issued – a system which has not but not been without its own problems.

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