Written Answers. - School Meals Programme.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

451 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of primary schools that operate some form of breakfast club either with or without the assistance of the Department; the percentage of schools that do this on a county by county basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10931/03]

The school meals programme provides funding for the urban school meals scheme, which operates in conjunction with certain local authorities, as well as individual innovative school meals projects that are in place in both urban and rural areas.

In 2002, €2.02 million was spent on the school meals programme. It is estimated that some 380 schools, with a total of over 60,000 pupils, benefited from the urban scheme while 105 schools and voluntary organisations received funding which benefited over 11,000 children under innovative school meals projects. This year I provided an additional €2.35 million in the budget in order to enhance and expand this service.

In the school year to date, my Department has provided funding for a total of 67 local breakfast clubs in national schools. I do not have details available to me of breakfast clubs that operate without support from my Department and, therefore, cannot provide the information requested by the Deputy.

The breakdown by county of the 67 clubs for which funding was provided is as follows:

Dublin

47

Kerry

3

Limerick

3

Wicklow

3

Carlow

2

Laois

2

Cork

1

Galway

1

Louth

1

Mayo

1

Tipperary

1

Waterford

1

Wexford

1

Total

67