27 Nov 2021

St Mary's NS Edgeworthstown to benefit from extension of Hot School Meals Programme

St Mary's NS Edgeworthstown to benefit from extension of Hot School Meals Programme

Minister Heather Humphreys has announced an extension to the Hot School Meals Programme

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced an extension of the Hot Schools Meals Programme, which will benefit up to 16,000 additional primary school pupils, including those in St Mary's National School, Edgeworthstown.

The €3 million investment will see 81 DEIS schools invited to join the programme from January 2022.

The schools being invited to participate are currently availing of the cold lunch option under the School Meals Programme.

Today’s announcement will enable an additional 16,000 primary school pupils to receive a hot, nutritious meal every school day, and will bring the total number of pupils benefitting to 55,650. 

Making today’s announcement, Minister Humphreys said:

“I am really pleased today to announce an extension of the Hot School Meals Programme to 81 DEIS schools across the country.

“This €3 million investment, which I secured as part of the Budget, 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.

“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.”

The Minister concluded:

“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.

“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.”

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