Thursday, 27 June 2019

Questions (239)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

239. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to ensure that single-use plastics are not used as containers for the hot school meals scheme (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27218/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

As part of Budget 2019, I announced a pilot scheme from September 2019, providing Hot School Meals in 36 primary schools for an estimated 7,200 children at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in 2020.

All 3,239 primary schools were issued with an invitation to submit an expression of interest to participate in the pilot by 12 June. All expressions of interest received will be considered and 36 schools will be selected to participate in the pilot.

In order to be considered for the pilot the school must identify a supplier who will supply (prepare and deliver) the hot meals in line with HACCP and food safety regulations in compliance with the Healthy Ireland ‘Nutrition Standards for School Meals’. The method and logistics of supplying the meals, as well as arrangements regarding packaging are addressed between the school and the supplier. The issues regarding waste and single use plastics will be considered as part of the evaluation of the pilot.