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Government Programmes
This section of the Dashboard looks at three key children’s food policies and how well these are reaching those in need. These three policies – Healthy Start, Free School Meals and Holiday Provision – are in place to help support children in poverty to be able to afford and access healthy, nutritious food.

Free School Meals
The Free School Meals (FSM) Scheme is a Government programme available to school-aged children in families who receive qualifying benefits and have an annual income of £7,400 or less before benefits. It entitles them to a free school meal worth approximately £2.30 in England during term time.

Universal Infant Free School Meals is a programme in which all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal (not covered in this Dashboard).

The data shown are for England only.