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28 Jun 2022

DEIS schools across Ireland to benefit from supermarket meals initiative

DEIS schools across Ireland to benefit from supermarket meals initiative

DEIS schools across Ireland to benefit from supermarket meals initiative

Primary school children and their families from 80 DEIS schools around the country are set to benefit from an expanded Tesco Stronger Starts programme.

As part of the expansion, Tesco Ireland will provide one million healthy and nutritious meals across the DEIS school network by May 2023.

Tesco has also launched a Whatsapp recipe hotline (089 222 6040) in which customers are encouraged to share their favourite family recipes that include potatoes, onions, carrots, or apples before June 7. Selected recipes will be posted on the Tesco Ireland.ie website. Consumers are invited to get involved in this initiative and help make a difference.

The Stronger Starts programme, in partnership with The Good Grub Initiative, will grow over the next year.  From this month, Tesco is delighted to be supported by its long-standing local suppliers, Country Crest, Keelings and Dole as they come on board to support children in need.

According to the CSO, one in thirteen Irish people were at risk of poverty prior to the Pandemic. Stronger Starts builds on the work of the Good Grub Initiative who, during Covid-19 restrictions with support from home school community liaison officers, identified families who needed additional support at home, through DEIS schools. The initiative complements the existing Government programme which provides food support to children and their families.  

This is the second phase of Stronger Starts, which started as a pilot programme in 40 DEIS schools in November (2021) providing 1,000 packs per week of healthy and nutritious food parcels, containing apples, onions, potatoes, and carrots to children and families most in need.

Across this school year, the programme will double to 2,000 packs per week through 80 DEIS schools. Tesco commits that by May 2023, the programme will have provided over one million meals through DEIS schools around Ireland.  

Rosemary Garth, Communications Director, Tesco Ireland said: “The Stronger Starts programme is our commitment to provide fresh ingredients for one million meals to primary school children most in need and their families by the middle of next year. As we celebrate twenty-five years in Ireland, we hope that this programme expansion will help make a positive change for children and families in our communities who are at risk of food insecurity.

"The aim of this recipe crowd source call out is to gather family-favourite recipes, using staples like potatoes, onions, carrots and apples, to inspire other families with those recipes, and get the children involved at mealtimes. I know there are lots of fantastic family favourites out there and I can’t wait to try some for myself.”

Stronger Starts is the latest community support programme from Tesco, which is helping to build thriving communities across Ireland. Tesco was the first national retail partner of FoodCloud in 2014, and since then we've redistributed the equivalent of 15 million meals to nearly 400 charitable groups in communities all over Ireland – from breakfast clubs, to ’Meals on Wheels’, to community kitchens and food banks.

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