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School Meals Programme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (51)

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

51. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Social Protection the plans that are in place to extend the hot school meals scheme in County Donegal; the number of students currently availing of the scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57913/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The school meals programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,506 schools and organisations benefitting 230,000 children. The objective of the programme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, to take full advantage of the education provided to them. The programme is an important component of policies to encourage school attendance and extra educational achievement.

A budget of €65.1 million has been provided for the scheme in 2021.

As part of Budget 2019, funding was provided for a pilot scheme from September 2019, providing hot school meals in primary schools at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in 2020. The pilot involved 37 schools benefitting 6,744 students for the 2019/2020 academic year and was aimed primarily at schools with no onsite cooking facilities.

Budget 2021 provided an additional €5.5m to extend the provision of hot school meals to an additional 35,000 primary school children, currently receiving the cold lunch option. Invitations for expressions of interest were issued to 705 primary schools (612 DEIS and 93 non-DEIS) in November 2020. A total of 281 (256 DEIS and 25 non-DEIS) expressions of interest were received in respect of 52,148 children.

The 35,000 places were allocated to each local authority area based on the number of children applied by local authority as a percentage of the total number. A minimum of one School for each Local Authority area was selected. Thereafter, a process of random selection was used for each area.

Budget 2022 is providing for the hot school meals to be extended from January 2022 to the 81 DEIS schools that submitted an expression of interest but were not selected in the extension to 35,000.

A list of the schools from Donegal County who have received funding for Hot School Meals in the 2021/2022 academic year is contained in the attached tabular statement 1. A list of the County Donegal schools invited to join the Hot Meals Scheme from January 2022 is contained in the attached Tabular Statement 2.

I am committed to continuing to grow the hot school meals element of the school meals programme and building further on the significant extension announced as part of Budget 2022.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Tabular Statement 1: The schools In Donegal county who have received Hot School Meals Funding 2021/2022

Organisation Identifier

Organisation Name

County

10062E

Creeslough National School

Donegal

14194S

Scoil Cholmcille

Donegal

14704P

Murroe National School

Donegal

15208I

S N Na Sraithe Moire

Donegal

15729N

Rathmullen National School

Donegal

16138S

Raphoe Central National School

Donegal

16349I

S N An Droim Mor

Donegal

16763S

S N Glasain

Donegal

17241Q

S N Domhnach Mor

Donegal

17328F

Scoil Roisin

Donegal

17469A

Scoil Cuilm Cille

Donegal

17598l

Sn An Leinbh Iosa

Donegal

17945G

Scoil Naomh Chaitriona

Donegal

18151U

S N Mhuire

Donegal

18172F

Gleneely N S

Donegal

18517N

Scoil Mhuire

Donegal

18703K

S N Baile An Bhailsig

Donegal

18710H

Sn Na Croise Naofa

Donegal

18766L

Scoil Cholmcille

Donegal

19343L

S N Dhubhthaigh

Donegal

19491D

Scoil Mhuire

Donegal

19518U

S N Naomh Baoithin

Donegal

19685Q

Scoil Chartha Naofa

Donegal

19724A

Little Angels Special School

Donegal

Tabular Statement 2: County Donegal Schools invited to join the Hot Meals Scheme for January 2022

School Roll Number

School Name

Enrolment Number

16880W

Scoil Naomh Colmchille

167

18086M

Dunfanaghy National School

28

04809A

Scoil An Aingil Choimheadai

29

15627F

St Muras National School

214

16054M

St Patrick's National School

172

16108J

Scoil Naomh Treasa C

57

16836T

Naomh Bridhid

104

18371L

Scoil Mhuire

128

18605K

Scoil Naomh Padraig Boys

143

18737E

Scoil Bhride

198

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