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
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

What Next?

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

To apply for free meals and financial support, please download the application form here.

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.