#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 7°C Monday 6 December 2021
Advertisement

Hot school meals programme to be extended to another 81 primary schools

The schools had submitted an expression of interest in the programme in November 2020 but were not chosen at that time.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS in 81 Deis schools will be able to receive a hot lunch each weekday from next year as part of an extension of the Hot School Meals Programme.

Funding that was allocated to the programme under Budget 2022 will extend the programme to 81 Deis schools where cold lunches are currently served, the Department of Social Protection has confirmed.

Nearly 30 of the schools are in Dublin with the remainder spread across the rest of the country, except for Kildare, Kilkenny, Letrim and Sligo.

The schools had submitted an expression of interest in the programme in November 2020 but were not chosen at that time in an extension that expanded the programme to an additional 35,000 children.

Those places were allocated by local authority area depending on the number of relevant children to give hot meals to a minimum of one school in each area and then by random selection.

The current €3 million investment will see 81 Deis schools invited to join the programme, adding another 16,000 students.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the move “means we can significantly expand the programme to benefit up to 16,000 primary school pupils who were previously availing of the cold lunch option”.

“Receiving a hot meal in the middle of the day is so important for nutrition but also for a child’s mental and physical wellbeing,” Humphreys said.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“It also leads to better educational outcomes and an improvement in the overall wellbeing of our children. As Minister, I am delighted to see this programme extended so that thousands more children and their families can benefit,” she said.

“The Hot School Meals Programme was initially launched on a pilot basis in 2019, serving 37 schools and some 6,600 primary school pupils. This extension means that over 55,000 primary school pupils will now benefit from a hot meal each day,” the minister said.

“I hope that we can see further progress in the coming months that will result in future expansions of this really important programme once again.”

The programme is due to start in the additional schools in January 2022.

About the author:

Lauren Boland

Read next:

COMMENTS (6)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel