Carlow TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor
Carlow TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has welcomed the inclusion of two Carlow school in the Hot School Meals Programme for 2021.
Scoil Naomh Fhiach in Graiguecullen and St Joseph’s National School in Hacketstown will both be part of the programme this year.
Deputy Murnane O’Connor said the programme is an important initiative in terms of a child’s wellbeing and nutrition.
"It is also known to facilitate better education outcomes. Our school children have had to contend with so much over the past 12 months and they have shown great resilience amid the huge disruption in their schooling," the Fianna Fáil TD said.
“I welcome the news that Scoil Naomh Fhiach in Graiguecullen and St Joseph’s National School in Hacketstown have been selected for this. I would also like to thank all the teachers and staff for helping to make this a possibility and for their great work during what has been an incredibly tough time.”
As part of Budget 2021, an additional €5.5 million was secured for the extension of the Hot School Meals Programme to primary school pupils who had been availing of the cold lunch only.
The hot meals will be available to all pupils enrolled in the 189 primary schools, which do not have canteen/kitchen facilities on site.
The hot meal will replace the cold lunch which has been in place to date.
Each school must identify a supplier who will supply (prepare and deliver) the hot meals in line with the relevant food safety regulations and in compliance with the Healthy Ireland Nutrition Standards for Hot School Meals.
Schools will be expected to provide a menu choice of at least two different meals per day plus a vegetarian/vegan option, as well as an option that caters for pupils’ religious and cultural dietary requirements.
The process of selecting the schools reflects a geographical spread across all local authority areas, taking into consideration pupil numbers, the level of interest and the available budget.
The Hot School Meals Programme is part of the overall School Meals Programme, which provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,557 schools and organisations benefitting 227,000 children.