School meals

School meals are a great way for your child to try new new flavours. They're also balanced, nutritious and delicious.

Our school meals service

A healthy diet is important. Our school lunch service provides nutritious and affordable meals. A few of the benefits include:

  • meals follow national nutritional standards
  • varied and interesting menus
  • special dietary requirements catered for
  • freshly cooked wholesome food
  • vegetarian option

We provide healthy balanced meals because they:

  • improve young people’s concentration and performance in school
  • promote health, growth and development
  • increase resistance to illness
  • introduce good habits for later life
  • are freshly prepared food

Our fully trained staff source all food from quality suppliers and prepare it on the day of serving in hygienic surroundings.

View an example menu (pdf 689KB)

Or you can contact your school directly or visit the schools website.

Value for money

Our meals offer excellent value for money. We follow the government’s primary nutritional guidelines.

When planning menus and recipes, we use a range of foods to encourage healthy eating:

  • fibre and starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and cereals
  • fruit and vegetables, providing vitamins, minerals and fibre
  • protein through fish, meat, beans and pulses
  • calcium for bone development in milk and dairy products
  • semi-skimmed milk to reduce saturated fats.

Getting the balance right

The best model for learning about healthy eating is The Eatwell plate model. It makes healthy eating easier to understand by showing the types and proportions of foods which make up a nutritious and well balanced diet. Using this as a guide can help children learn that to meet our nutritional needs we need to select a variety of foods from all of the five food groups.


H&F is working with London-based charity Magic Breakfast to offer universal free breakfasts to our primary schools to help local families combat food insecurity.

The National School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme provides a free piece of fruit or vegetable to every four to six-year-old in our primary schools.

We are also the first council in England and Wales to run a pilot scheme delivering free lunches in two secondary schools. Read our press release: More free school meals in our war on food poverty.

Free school meals

These are available for pupils whose parents/carers receive certain benefits. If you think your child may be eligible for free school meals please see our student benefits and grants page.

For the school year starting September 2023, the Mayor of London’s office is providing one-off funding to primary schools in London, to allow all children at Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) to have school meals at no cost.

Applications should still be made for pupils who may be eligible for Free School Meals, this allows additional support to be provided both at school and during school holidays.

Free school meals holiday voucher scheme

The free school meals holiday voucher scheme has now come to an end.

Households eligible for free school meals can access holiday food support through our Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. This programme is designed to support families on a lower income or children who are considered to be vulnerable; it provides a free meal and supports children to eat more healthily, be more active over the school holidays and have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition. Find out more and how to book a place on the programme.

Contact us

For further information about school meals please email

For information about free school meals contact

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