To qualify for free school meals the child's parent must get one of these benefits or credits:
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (CTC) as long as: - it doesn't include an amount for childcare - they are not also getting Working Tax Credit, and - their household income (worked out by HM Revenue & Customs) is no more than £16,190 a year.
A Working Tax Credit 'run-on' payment for four weeks after stopping work, or reducing working hours to under 16 hours a week