Children in 36 primary schools with no canteen to get daily hot meal

Vegan, vegetarian meal options to be part of pilot project for 6,600 pupils

 ‘Children who benefit from a daily nutritious hot dinner have greater focus and better learning outcomes,’ Regina Doherty said. Photograph: iStock

‘Children who benefit from a daily nutritious hot dinner have greater focus and better learning outcomes,’ Regina Doherty said. Photograph: iStock


Thirty six primary schools will take part in a pilot project to provide a hot meal to more than 6,600 children in schools that do not have kitchen or canteen facilities.

As part of the project the schools have to source suppliers to provide at least two different meals per day plus a vegetarian/vegan choice and an option that caters for students’ religious and cultural dietary requirements.

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, who announced the scheme in Budget 2019, said she expected the project to cost about €1 million this year and €2.5 million next year.

The scheme is based on the “proof-of-concept” project at Our Lady of Lourdes National School in Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin since the beginning of the year.

Almost 250 pupils attending the school received a hot meal at lunchtime each day. The school will continue in the scheme along with the 36 additional schools selected for the project.

Parent will not be asked for additional contributions towards the meals.

Ms Doherty said “a hot school meal is not just about nutrition but it also guarantees a better education. The research out there shows us that children who benefit from a daily nutritious hot dinner have greater focus and better learning outcomes.”

She said there had been an “enthusiastic response” to the scheme.

Ms Doherty said the schools “represent a good cross sample of schools and I look forward to the insights we gather from their experiences”, and include a mixture of urban and rural and DEIS and non-DEIS Schools to ensure the best possible sample for the pilot.

Schools selected for Hot School Meals Pilot Project, by local authority area

Carlow County Council:-S N Treasa Naomha, Kiltegan

Cavan County Council: S N Corrabha, Glangevlin

Clare County Council: Ballycar N S, Newmarket on Fergus

Cork City Council: Scoil Mhuire Agus Eoin, Mayfield

Cork County Council: Clogheen Mixed N S, Kerry Pike

Cork County Council: S N Bun An Tsabhairne, Crosshaven

Cork County Council: Scoil Na Mbraithre, Mitchelstown

Donegal County Council: S N Domhnach Mor, Castlefin

Donegal County Council: Clochar Pádraig Naofa, Carndonagh

Dublin City Council: Goldenbridge Convent, Inchicore

Dublin City Council: Educate Together National School, Belmayne

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown: Gaelscoil Phadraig, Ballybrack

Fingal County Council: St Philip The Apostle Junior N S, Clonsilla

Galway City Council: Bushy Park N S, Bushy Park, Galway

Galway County Council: S N Na Cealltraighe, Caltra, Ballinasloe

Galway County Council: S N Gort Na Gaoithe, Newbridge, Ballinasloe

Kerry County Council: Scoil Mhuire, Brosna

Kildare County Council: Curragh Camp Girls National School, Curragh Camp

Kilkenny County Council: Graig Na Manach Buac, Graiguenamanagh

Laois County Council: Barr Na Sruthan N S, Mountmellick

Leitrim County Council: Mohill N S, Mohill

Limerick City and County Council: St Johns Convent, Cathedral Place

Longford County Council: St Joseph’s Convent, Longford Town

Louth County Council: S N Naomh Lorcan, Dundalk

Mayo County Council: S N Realt Na Mara, Mulranny

Mayo County Council: S N Achaidh An Ghlaisín, Belmullet

Meath County Council: Gaelscoil An Bhradáin Feasa, Drogheda

Monaghan County Council: Lisdoonan N S, Carrickmacross

Offaly County Council: St Ciaran’s Mixed N S, Ballycumber

Roscommon County Council: St Anne’s Con N S, Castlerea

Sligo County Council: Holy Family School, Tubbercurry

South Dublin County Council: St Thomas Senior N S, Jobstown, Tallaght

Tipperary County Council: Scoil Na Mbraithre, Nenagh

Waterford City and County Council: Scoil Choill Mhic Thomaisin, Kilmacthomas

Westmeath County Council: Eoin Naofa N S, Ballymore

Wexford County Council: Gorey Central School, Gorey

Wicklow County Council: St. Peter’s Primary School, Bray