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Food, meals and menu advice

Great British Budget Menu

The BBC programme the 'Great British Budget Menu' included some great meals costing less than £1.00 per person. You can view the receipes on the BBC website here (link opens in a new window).

A Girl Called Jack Blog

The 'A Girl Called Jack' blog contains many great value and great tasting recipes - visit

The vital work of food banks

Over 500,000 people are now reliant on food aid – the use of food banks and receipt of food parcels – according to a report by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty, and this number is expected to increase.

If you need help from a food bank you can find a list of food banks across the East Midlands here. Their addresses and telephone numbers are also listed. We recommend that you call the food bank you are interested in before attending as each one has different opening hours and different requirements in terms of referrals or evidence of need.

If you wish to donate to a food bank Christmas is the ideal time as money can be particularly tight for many. The list of food banks gives you phone numbers to call to arrange to make donations.

Free School Meals - is your child eligible?

Did you know that your child could qualify for free school meals? 

There is nothing healthier for your child and your family’s budget than free school meals.  As someone else is preparing the meals for your child, it saves you having to worry about the effort and expense of making packed lunches every day.

Your child may be entitled to receive free school meals if you are entitled to receive one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190

Parents receiving Working Tax Credit for four weeks after their employment finishes are entitled to free school meals during that period.  This also applies to parents who start working less than 16 hours per week.

Children who receive Income Support or income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance in their own right qualify as well. 

How to apply

The Directgov website helps you to find out information on the application process in your area.  Simply click here, then enter your post code and follow the link to your Local Authority.

Alternatively, contact your school, who will be able to give you an application form, or tell you who to call at your local council.