The college canteen refectory seating area in the atrium of the main buidling at East Durham College's Peterlee Campus

Free Meals At College

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

There is here, because we offer eligible students (aged 16-18) the choice of a free lunch – or breakfast - every day they are in college.

Students, aged 16-18 (or up to 25 with a statement of special educational needs or education, health and care plan) on or before 31st August, will be eligible for free meals if their parent/carer qualifies for one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under 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 gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • During the initial roll out of the benefit, Universal Credit.

What Next?

Free meals will be assessed for eligibility when you apply for the Student Benefits Package.

Note: Free meals for those students with a household income below £16,191, are only available from the College canteens and cannot be transferred as a cash value.