Co-op launches gift card scheme for pupils entitled to free school meals

Co-op has announced it is starting a gift card scheme to help schools across the UK provide free meals for eligible pupils.

Since schools closed, the government has been supplying schools with an allowance of £15 a week per pupil to fund free school meals for eligible pupils, redeemable in specified retailers including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. The Co-op Group is not one of the retailers participating in the national scheme.

Through the supermarket’s new parallel scheme, families will have access to gift cards to redeem at their local Co-op store. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that schools will be fully reimbursed and refunded for purchasing gift cards from their local Co-op store. Schools will be able to order gift cards directly from the convenience retailer for use in 2,600 stores which can then be remotely topped up.

View our COVID-19 tracker in full.