The expansion of the hot school meals scheme will be ‘hugely transformative’ for children.
That’s according to Ireland’s biggest supplier of school meals and Co. Wexford business ‘Fresh Today’
Every child in a Deis primary school will get a hot meal from this September. Deis schools, which are mainly in poorer areas, support children who are at risk of or who are experiencing educational disadvantage.The scheme will be rolled out to all remaining primary schools on a phased basis starting next year.The aim is to provide a free hot school meal for every child by 2030.
Schools choose their own supplier who must ensure the meals meet certain nutritional standards.
It comes following a report highlighting how the programme can improve attendance and benefit households financially.The School Meals Programme was set up in 2003, but hot meals only became a feature in 2019.
A study of schools already in the programme shows better attendance in class and households benefiting financially. Ray Nangle, CEO of Fresh Today, told South East Radio about the importance of nourishing meals for children today. He added that expanding the programme has many benefits.