Children who are eligible for free school meals can continue to receive food through an arrangement with their school. They should have received an ecode or evoucher to spend on food.

Families should contact their school if they think they should receive a voucher but haven’t. They should also contact their school if they're having trouble redeeming their voucher.

Click the link below to read the advice for schools from the Government.

What’s the difference between an eCode and an eGift card?

An eCode is the 16 digit code which your school may email or text to you. You’ll need this code to access and choose your supermarket eGift card. You cannot use the eCode directly with the retailer, it must be exchanged for an eGift card.

Each supermarket has their own eGift card. To order your eGift, redeem your eCode at The eGift card will be sent to the email address entered during check-out and can be spent instore at the chosen supermarket. Alternatively your school may order your eGift card for you and print it and post it, or arrange for you to collect it.

How do I use my eCode to select a supermarket eGift card?

You should order your supermarket eGift at home before going to the store. To select your supermarket eGift card, follow the steps below:

1. Copy the eCode from your email or text message
2. Go to
3. Enter the 16 digit eCode (you can enter more than one eCode if you have more than one to redeem)
4. Select a supermarket
5. Enter the amount and add to basket
6. Checkout and enter the email address you would like the eGift card sent to
7. Your eGift card will be processed and sent (please allow up to 24 hours for it to be delivered to your inbox).

What supermarkets can I pick from?

The following supermarkets are supporting free school meals:
• Morrisons
• Tesco
• Sainsbury’s
• Asda
• Waitrose (John Lewis)
• M&S food

How do I know what the value of the eCode is?

This is stated in the email sent to you by the school.

Do I have to use the full value of the eCode when choosing my eGift card(s)?

Yes – your balance will be visible on the webpage.

Can I choose to redeem my eCode at more than one supermarket?

You can mix and match different supermarket retailers within the same order, provided the total value you’ve chosen for each is equal to total value of the eCode you’ve entered. For example, with a £10 Code, you could choose £5 for Tesco and £5 for Sainsbury’s. Simply enter the value you would like to order on each supermarket eGift card and your balance will update so you know how much you have left.

Please note that the full value of the eCode needs to be redeemed in one transaction, you cannot redeem a partial value of the code and save the rest for later. Most supermarkets accept multiples of £1 per eGift card, however some other supermarkets have larger fixed amounts that can be ordered, e.g £10.

How long do I have to redeem the eCode?

Your eCode will expire after 1 month.

What happens if my eCode has expired?

The eCode is cancelled and the money associated is then returned to the Department for Education.

What can I purchase in-store with the eGift card?

The eGift card is issued to you in respect of the free school meal benefit and will only be accepted in store for the purchase of food and groceries.

How do I know the value of the eGift card I have received?

The value will be present on the eGift card itself.

How do I use a supermarket eGift card?

A supermarket eGift card is a digital voucher. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store either on a smartphone screen or printed on a piece of paper, just like a gift card. Some eGift cards can be used to purchase online (see below).

Does my eGift card need to be used at the supermarket in one transaction?

No - your eGift card can be used in multiple transactions and on multiple visits, until you have spent the eGift card.

How long does the supermarket eGift card last for?

Please see the table below:

For more T&Cs, please refer to the supermarket’s website.

Can the vouchers be used in-store and online?

Please see the table below:

For more T&C’s, please refer to the supermarket’s website.

My school has ordered an eCode for me, but it hasn’t come through to my email?

Firstly, check your junk mail and/or trash folder. If it still hasn’t arrived within 72 hours, please contact your school to ensure that they have your correct email address. If necessary, the school administrator can resend the eCode to your correct email address. If this still doesn’t work, your school can contact Edenred.

I have ordered an eGift card, but it hasn’t come through to my email?

Firstly, check your junk mail and/or trash folder. If it still hasn’t arrived within 24 hours, please contact Edenred: [email protected] who can look into this for you.

If you receive an error message when trying to redeem your code on the free school meals website, you may have entered the incorrect code. Please try to enter your code again. If your code is still not accepted, please delete the browsing history on your device – as your device may be storing the incorrect code in its memory.

What happens if I have a smartphone but no data when I’m at the supermarket?

We suggest ordering your eGift card at home when connected to WiFi before you go to the supermarket. Take a screenshot of the eGift card barcode before going to the supermarket as this should still scan OK in-store.

I’m not able to get to the supermarket.

You can forward the supermarket eGift card to someone else to purchase goods on your behalf if you’re not able to get to the supermarket. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store, just like a gift card.

How often will I receive the supermarket voucher?

The school will have flexibility in how often they send you an eCode or an eGift card. The eCode can be redeemed for a supermarket eGift card within 1 month. The eGift cards have different expiry dates (see above).

I have more than one child, will I receive multiple eCodes?

This will be at the discretion of your school who may issue an eCode for each of your children or, alternatively, may send one eCode to you, for the total value of your children’s free school meal entitlement.

If you are having any trouble accessing the freeschoolmeals website or haven't received your voucher, contact your school directly.