THE Government has launched the first pilot of serving hot meals in schools.
The scheme was launched this week at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Inchicore by Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty.
Measures to pilot hot meals in up to 36 schools to 7,200 children were announced in Budget 2019 at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in a full year.
This is the first Hot School Meals scheme to be introduced and the Government says it will identify any issues before a larger pilot is rolled out later this year. During the initial pilot, children in Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School will each receive a hot meal at lunchtime until the end of the current school year.
The pilot will initially target primary schools which do not currently avail of the dinner options under the School Meals Programme and do not have canteen or kitchen facilities for preparation of hot dinners on site.
Minister Doherty added that if the pilot was successful, she would hope to work “with the Department of Education and Skills in extending the scheme to additional schools in future years and establish the scheme on a permanent basis.”
Read the Department’s press release here.