Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar
Gnáthamharc

School Meals Programme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (66)

Neasa Hourigan

Ceist:

66. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans for the expansion of the school meals programmes, both the urban schools meals scheme and the school meals local projects scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57602/21]

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.

The Programme provides funding towards food services for disadvantaged school children through two schemes: The urban school meals scheme and the school meals (local projects) scheme. The Urban School Meals Scheme for primary schools is operated and administered by local authorities and is part-financed by my department. 44,095 students in 301 primary schools benefit from the Urban School Meals Scheme. 188 of these schools also benefit from the local projects scheme.

The school meals (local projects) scheme provides funding towards the provision of food to schools and organisations. 214,574 students in 1,393 schools and organisations benefit from the school meals (local projects) scheme. Funding under the school meals (local projects) scheme can be provided for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, hot meals and afterschool clubs and is based on a maximum rate per child per day, depending on the type of meal being provided e.g. €1.40 per child per day where a cold lunch club is being provided, €1.90 per child per day where a dinner club is being provided and €2.90 per child per day where a Hot Meal club is being provided. Dinner clubs provide a hot meal, but are different from the Hot Meals clubs, in that they tend to be provided by schools with onsite cooking facilities whereas food for Hot Meals clubs is cooked offsite and either delivered hot or reheated in the school.

In recent years entry to the School Meals Scheme has been confined to DEIS schools in addition to schools identified as having levels of concentrated disadvantage that would benefit from access to the School Meals Programme.

Prior to the introduction of DEIS in 2005, all schools and organisations that were part of one of a number of Department of Education and Skills’ initiatives for disadvantaged schools were eligible to participate in the programme, which included Breaking the Cycle, Giving Children an Even Break, the Disadvantaged Area Scheme, Home School Community Liaison and the School Completion Programme. These schools and organisations have continued to remain in the scheme since the introduction of DEIS in 2005 but their level of funding has been capped at the same rate year on year to allow for the concentration of the scheme on DEIS schools.

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.

In Budget 2021, I announced that an additional €5.5m would be provided to extend the provision of hot school meals to an additional 35,000 primary school children, currently receiving the cold lunch option. My Department issued invitations for expressions of interest to 705 primary schools in November 2020. A total of 281 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.

The 81 schools are listed in the attached tabular statement.

Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary. Schools and organisations must reapply for funding in advance of each school year and are required to submit detailed records at the end of the school year. Applications are accepted from individual schools and organisations as well as organisations such as School Completion Programmes who apply for multiple schools. The application process for 2021/2022 is still open.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Tabular Statement: The 81 DEIS Schools being invited to participate in the Hot Meals Scheme from January 2022

Identifier

Organisation Name

County

01356U

Kilnaleck Mixed National School

CAVAN

03220F

Mercy Primary School

OFFALY

03633H

Scoil Náisiúnta Bhantiarna Lourdes

WEXFORD

03928D

Mullach National School

CLARE

04809A

Scoil An Aingil Choimheadai

DONEGAL

05348S

Tahilla Community National School

KERRY

05513H

Castlepollard Mixed National School

WESTMEATH

06959G

Clonroche National School

Wexford

06998Q

St Patrick's National School

Cavan

08143P

S N Mhuire

CAVAN

08221J

St Senans National School

Wexford

09932B

Stanhope St Convent

DUBLIN 7

11470B

Slieveardagh National School

TIPPERARY

11986N

Convent Of Mercy

WEXFORD

13271F

Fairgreen National School

CAVAN

13611D

Presentation Primary School

DUBLIN

13696O

St Vincent’s Convent National School

CORK

14704P

Murroe National School

Donegal

14873P

Dookinella National School

MAYO

15027E

S N Na Heaglaise

GALWAY

15253N

St Patrick's Girls National School

Dublin 4

15362S

S N Michil Naofa

TIPPERARY

16054M

St Patrick's National School

DONEGAL

16108J

Scoil Naomh Treasa C

DONEGAL

16202B

Castleblayney Convent National School

MONAGHAN

16713D

Scoil Na Mbraithre

Limerick

16836T

Naomh Bridhid

DONEGAL

16880W

Scoil Naomh Colmchille

Donegal

17105I

Muire Gan Smal C

Cork

17356K

Muire Na Dea Coirle Inf

DUBLIN 12

17498H

S N Naomh Sheosamh

Tipperary

17606H

Naomh Micheal N S

Westmeath

17665A

S N Gleann Guail

TIPPERARY

17737W

Our Lady Queen Of Peace School

Limerick

17743R

Naomh Muire National School

WESTMEATH

18086M

Dunfanaghy National School

Donegal

18343G

S N Chaoimhghin

TIPPERARY

18371L

Scoil Mhuire

DONEGAL

18406E

S N Phroinsiais Naofa

OFFALY

18414D

S N Gleann Beithe

KERRY

18605K

Scoil Naomh Padraig Boys

DONEGAL

18737E

Scoil Bhride

DONEGAL

18786R

Scoil Iosagain

CORK

18968A

St Malachy's B N S

DUBLIN 5

19352M

Sc Nais Realta Na Mara

WEXFORD

19438W

Scoil Colmcille Senior

Co. Dublin

19515O

Sn Naomh Treasa

Dublin

19577N

Scoil Iosa

DUBLIN 24

19582G

Tallaght C N S

Dublin

19605P

Scoil Nais Mhuire Sois

Dublin 15

19642V

St Peter Apostle Sen National School

Dublin

19662E

St Michael's National School

DUBLIN 10

19663G

St Raphael's National School

DUBLIN 10

19694R

Scoil Mhuire Sin

DUBLIN 15

19743E

St Bernadette's Junior National School

Dublin 22

19747M

Scoil Bhride National School

LAOIS

19764M

Our Lady Of Wayside National School

DUBLIN 12

19785U

St Bernadette's Senior National School

Dublin 22

19809I

Abbeycarton National School

ROSCOMMON

19830W

Corpus Christi National School

LIMERICK

19840C

Holy Family School

Co. Dublin

19909M

Gaelscoil Peig Sayers

CORK

19929S

St Brigid's Senior Girls

DUBLIN 11

19933J

Scoil Treasa Naofa

Dublin 8

19935N

Scoil Eoin

Dublin 5

19946S

Rutland National School

DUBLIN 1

19977G

Bandon Boys National School

Cork

20036J

North Presentation Primary School

CORK

20091R

St Peters National School

DUBLIN

20124G

St Mary's National School

LONGFORD

20163Q

S.N Eoin Baiste

LOUTH

20173T

St Anne's Primary School

DUBLIN 24

20219R

St Paul's B N S

WATERFORD

20220C

Gaelscoil Ui Earcain

Dublin

20275E

Scoil Íosa

MAYO

20295K

Carlow Educate Together National School

CARLOW

20303G

Lucan East Educate Together National School

DUBLIN

20389T

Scoil Maria Assumpta

Cork

20405O

St Mary's National School

Limerick

20467N

St Ailbe's National School

Tipperary

20468P

St Dominic's National School

Dublin

Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 12.
Question No. 68 answered with Question No. 11.
Barr
Roinn