North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD that children across Cork County will benefit from the further extension of the Hot School Meals Programme.
Councillor O’Shea said that this latest extension will mean an additional 100 schools in Cork will benefit from nutritious hot meals next year.
“This is a significant development with over 150,000 additional children across Ireland benefiting from a nourishing hot meal each day, many of those within Cork County. Fine Gael is committed to providing the best start for every child, and the provision of a hot meal every day will further support families throughout Ireland. The main objective of the Hot School Meals Programme is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, can access regular, nutritious food so that they can take full advantage of the education provided to them. The expansion of the scheme ensures that even more children across Cork will benefit.
Minister Humphreys said “As Minister, I am absolutely determined to continue to expand the Hot School Meals Programme to every Primary School in Ireland. My ambition is that a child born in Ireland today will be guaranteed access to a Hot Meal by the time they start school. The major expansion I am announcing today means we are now well on course to achieve that objective.”
As part of this significant expansion plan, primary schools were contacted and requested to submit an expression of interest form if their school was interested in being included in the scheme. This has resulted in 900 additional schools taking part.
Cllr. O’Shea added “The Hot School Meals Programme is a major initiative to encourage school attendance and will continue to help tackle the issue of education disadvantage. From April next year there will be over 1,400 primary schools benefitting from Hot School Meals, many of these from Cork. This is a major step in guaranteeing that all children have the very best start in life, and I look forward to seeing further expansion of this scheme in the future”.
A full list of Schools to benefit in Cork is available here – https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/937b9-list-of-schools-approved-for-the-hot-school-meals-programme-from-april-2024/