Information for parents/caregivers

The School Meals Programme wants children in the Netherlands to have enough to eat when they are at school. As life is getting more and more expensive, some parents/caregivers could use some help. That is why we work with schools to quickly help as many children as possible. Schools can register for the programme. Schools can choose from two options.

If a school registers and it meets the criteria to join the programme, there are 2 options they can choose:

  1. provide meals at school.
  2. ask for financial support for parents/caregivers. With the 2nd option, parents/caregivers will receive a grocery card to buy additional food and drinks for their school-going children.
een schoolklas met fruit op tafel

Option 1: school meals

If schools choose this option, they receive money to organise meals at school. The school chooses what kind of meal best suits the pupils. For example: breakfast or lunch at school, several days a week. Or they put food and drinks in a room or fridge where the children can take what they need.

Option 2: grocery cards for parents/caregivers

If the school chooses support to parents/caregivers, the school will inform you about this. Do you sometimes lack the money to buy food for your children? Don’t hesitate to register. All support is given anonymously and will never be communicated within the classroom. The school will send you a link to an online registration form. The Red Cross will receive the information you provide in the form. This allows us to check if you are eligible to participate in the programme. Then, the school checks whether the parents/caregivers who fill in the form are known to them, only based on your name, address, and phone number. The answers to all other questions are not shared with any other party.

Videos ‘Information grocery card’ & ‘This is how you apply for a grocery card’.

Grocery cards

The Red Cross will send you a notification if your registration has been confirmed. This notification also includes further details on how to use the grocery card.

The grocery card works like a sort of debit card. You can use the card in different stores selling groceries, such as:

  1. Supermarkets
  2. Market stalls and other stores selling food items.

New money is put on the card every two weeks. The amount of money depends on the number of children you have registered. For each child (maximum 3 per family), €22 is put on the card. You can only spend a maximum of €150 per month.

Please note:

  • The grocery card can be used only for buying food. You can not withdraw money with the card, and it does not work in all stores.
  • Before, we used different grocery vouchers that could be used in Albert Heijn and Jumbo. These vouchers can be used until the end of the year.
5 Rode Kruis vrijwilligers voor een Witte bus met een Rode Kruis logo

End of programme

The programme ends in December 2024. This means that schools can receive money for school meals until the end of next year. The grocery card will be topped up for parents/caregivers until the end of next year.

Do you need help?

Do you need help? On this page, you will find a list of questions and answers.

Do you have questions or need help you can contact our Customer Service by telephone, text message or Whatsapp to 097 010 204 851 (open Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00) or by email to [email protected].