All primary schools invited to apply for Hot School Meals pilot scheme 2 months ago

All primary schools invited to apply for Hot School Meals pilot scheme

The government is rolling out a hot meals in primary schools programme.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is seeking expressions of interest in its Hot School Meals Scheme Project, an initiative to provide a hot meal to primary school children on a pilot basis from September 2019.

The department has contacted all primary schools in the country, inviting them to apply for the 35 available spaces on the pilot scheme.

Those 35 schools will join Our Lady of Lourdes National School in Inchicore, Dublin 8, where the scheme has been in place since January 2019. Over 3,000 schools have been contacted.

It is not necessary for schools to have kitchen or canteen facilities in order to be part of the scheme.

The overall budget available for the pilot scheme is €1 million in 2019 and €2.5 million in 2020. According to the department, the purpose of the scheme is to make sure the education of disadvantaged children does not suffer as a result of lack of access to good quality food.

Families will not asked to be contribute to the cost of the meals.

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said: "The provision of adequate and nutritious meals for a child’s health, learning, attention and educational achievement is invaluable. Under the Healthy Ireland Framework, the health and wellbeing of children is a priority across Government.

"I believe that the provision of hot food services in schools guarantees on-going positive returns on public investment in the health and educational performance of future generations."