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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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More than 6,600 primary school students to receive hot meals at lunch from next month

36 schools have been chosen to participate in the new pilot project.

Image: Shutterstock/surasaki

MORE THAN 6,600 students in 36 primary schools will receive a hot meal during lunch at school every day from next month. 

The Hot School Meals Pilot Project was announced today by the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty. 

The pilot will build on the experience of a trial run which has been operating at Our Lady of Lourdes National School in Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin 8 since the beginning of the year. 

During this initial trial, almost 250 pupils attending the school received a hot meal at lunchtime each day and the initiative has been well received, according to the Department of Social Protection. 

This school will continue in the scheme along with the 36 new schools that have been selected for the pilot project today.

“A hot school meal is not just about nutrition but it also guarantees a better education,” Minister Doherty said.

“The research out there shows us that children who benefit from a daily nutritious hot dinner have greater focus and better learning outcomes,” she said. 

“I would like to thank all the schools who applied for the pilot – we had an enthusiastic response. I am delighted to be extending this pilot to the 36 schools announced today.” 

The Department said the composition of schools selected for the pilot was made to ensure a proper variety of school sizes, a mixture of urban and rural and Deis and non-Deis schools. 

Funding will be provided to schools to source suppliers and families will not be asked for additional contributions towards the meals.

Each primary school participating in the pilot project will be expected to provide a menu choice of at least two different meals per day plus a vegetarian/vegan choice and an option that caters for students’ religious and cultural dietary requirements.

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