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to feel ashamed about free school meals

(40 Posts)
InspectorMontalbano Mon 25-Jan-16 13:15:25

Ashamed/nervous/worried I don't know what it is. 2 weeks ago I applied on the council website for youngest child still at primary to have free school meals, there was an online checker & we are eligible.
I haven't heard from the school yet & im worried it's because they think we shouldn't be eligible. Its a tiny village school & everyone knows everyone here. I live in a decent 3 bed semi, I work and I drive a 3 yr old (rented) car.
Split with exh last year which has dropped household income massively, he is paying rent & bills on a flat & i pay about 2/3 bills here & have taken on a lodger to help with that. Also started claiming ctc.
I feel uneasy about that and free meals - because of our decision to split I am now claiming benefits. Should I be - morally?

imwithspud Mon 25-Jan-16 13:21:05

YABU. Why struggle when there are services out there that can help you? No one needs to know your child will get FSM, the school certainly won't be judging and you won't be the only one getting FSM either.

trulybadlydeeply Mon 25-Jan-16 13:27:09

YABU (in the nicest possible way). You are only doing the best for your family. You are entitled to it, so take it. It means that money can be spent on something else. Please don't feel uneasy about that, or any benefits you are entitled to. That's exactly what they are there for - to help when help is needed.

Psychmumma Mon 25-Jan-16 13:30:33

Take it. My parents never accessed the help we could have been given and we definitely suffered because of their pride. Nobody will know, unless you choose to tell them.

Stripyhoglets Mon 25-Jan-16 13:37:22

You are right to claim, and the school get a bit extra money too if you do as pupil premium.

glenthebattleostrich Mon 25-Jan-16 13:42:07

If you didn't apply then the school would loose out on pupil premium funding. Why should the kids miss out cos of your pride ;)

Seriously, don't be embarrassed.

Claraoswald36 Mon 25-Jan-16 13:42:17

If you need to justify it to yourself think of it as denying the school w tea money if you don't claim grin

I recently found out I could have around a hundred pounds a month housing benefit. I could mNagw quite well without it. I will be taking the free money without a second thought or any shame!!!! If we were entitled to fsm I would be claiming them!!

NickyEds Mon 25-Jan-16 13:42:53

Should I be - morally?

Absolutely not. it would be morally wrong not to. Your circumstances have changed dramatically and this is what fsm and ctc are for. Take care op.

LaurieLemons Mon 25-Jan-16 14:25:43

This is what benefits are for - you split with your husband. Sitting on your arse all day because you can and claiming would be taking advantage which you're not doing so have nothing to worry about.

IHaveBrilloHair Mon 25-Jan-16 14:28:27

Take them, I do and no one has any idea.

grassroots Mon 25-Jan-16 14:32:50

Schools get extra funding if they have families claiming FSM's. Ours is always sending out texts reminding everyone to claim them if they are entitled. No-one at school will worry - so try not to worry yourself over this. The School will probably be pleased to get the extra funding.

Janeymoo50 Mon 25-Jan-16 14:33:27

Do it for now, you need to. There may be a point in the future when you won't need them. I'd say that at this difficult time for you, you should take all the help you can get. Plus, you say you're working so you can even look at in a positive was in that you are contributing to them anyway by paying tax (it might make you feel better about it).

InspectorMontalbano Mon 25-Jan-16 14:57:08

the school certainly won't be judging do you not think? I don't think I appear less well off than I did so I just imagine them being a bit hmm also expected a letter or something confirming so dc is still having packed lunch. Sch secretary lives 4 doors down ridiculously I'm worried in case she sees me with a sainsburys bag and thinks I should be shopping g somewhere cheaper grin I'm laughing at myself now I'm sure she has better things to do!
I can afford packed lunch im very frugal and can do them cheap I don't send in packets. I have an early morning cleaning job now though which means much less time in the mornings for making them up (arrrrgh sounds so lazy) I am struggling with my morals on this
Thank you for the unanimous unjudginess everyone smile

imwithspud Mon 25-Jan-16 15:13:58

Honestly they won't care, looks can be deceiving.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 25-Jan-16 15:15:30

Do you receive working tax credits op if so you won't be eligible.

Rowgtfc72 Mon 25-Jan-16 15:33:12

I was free school meals at school and my friends were jealous at the amount I had to " spend" everyday.
As an ex school governor I would urge you to claim as the school would be able to claim extra funding.

KP86 Mon 25-Jan-16 15:35:39

School will want you to access it if eligible. Trust me - adds to their budget as they get extra funding for FSM students.

DesertOrDessert Mon 25-Jan-16 15:40:01

Our school in the UK used to send out letters practically begging us to have free school meals if we qualified for them. The extra money they got in terms of pupil premium was desperately needed. You would be doing your school a disfavour if you are eligible and don't claim them.

YakTriangle Mon 25-Jan-16 15:41:25

The school will not be judging you for claiming them. My DD's school regularly sends home reminder letters that says if you're entitled to them, claim them, even if you want to still send DC with a packed lunch.

TheSnowFairy Mon 25-Jan-16 18:00:20

Please don't be ashamed OP - lots of people have them (I work in a secondary school) and there really is no stigma attached. Claim and let your DC have lunches at school.

momtothree Mon 25-Jan-16 18:04:22

I work in a school and a dad with two kids didn't claim because of pride - he couldn't pay and the bill was over £200 each child - that's a lot when help is there.
(Yes I judged him for being proud!!)

Anyone else - not my business!!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 25-Jan-16 18:09:59

Schools love it when you claim free meals. It means pupil premium for them!

Seeyounearertime Mon 25-Jan-16 18:13:45

stop worrying about people judging and worry about whats best for you and yours.
if your DC can have a cooked and hot meal, then who gives a flying monkey whos paid for it?

the other way to think about it is that you've paid your taxes, you're effectively paying for it anyway. grin

NewLife4Me Mon 25-Jan-16 18:14:03

Ah, my love don't feel ashamed, you are obviously in need, they don't give fsm to people with enough money.
The school will be glad as they will get more money/funding, I believe.
I'm sure it is set up in a way that no other children would be aware and nobody will think badly of you at all.
Please take it as it's for your children thanks

ledgeoffseason Mon 25-Jan-16 18:15:14

Yeah, you sound sooooooo lazy for having an early morning cleaning job - not! You sound the opposite, good for you! Of course you should take them. School will benefit, you will benefit, kids will get cooked lunch. Keep on keeping on, sounds like you are adjusting to big changes.

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