Changes to School Meals scheme welcomed but concerns remain around price per meal

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Galway Daily news Galway Senator condemns

Senator Seán Kyne welcomed the extension of the Hot School Meals Programme to all DEIS primary schools from September, but said that meals providers must be enabled to provide the meals at a sustainable cost.

The extension of the scheme was announced in the Government’s €1.2 billion cost of living package announced last week.

Welcoming the changes to the scheme, the Fine Gael senator said that the school meals programme provides food services to 1,600 schools and 260,000 children.

He said good food allows students to take full advantage of the school day and achieve better outcomes from both a health and education point of view.

Senator Kyne said that the meals providers must be enabled to provide the meals at a sustainable cost.

“There is concern in the catering sector that the price per meal is not adequate at present and we must ensure that the caterers involved receive a sustainable return,” he said.

“I have raised this with the Minister and in the Seanad and I am hopeful of a positive outcome.”

Minister Heather Humphreys announced €94m for the programme in 2023 which Senator Kyne said is a welcome increase, allowing the new DEIS schools to be included.

“Preparations are now being made to extend the Hot School Meals programme to all primary schools,” he added.