Wicklow school students are set to benefit from an extension of the school meals programme.
That’s according to Fine Gael Wicklow/ East Carlow TD and Minister of State, Andrew Doyle who was informed by the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, that his Department has written to invite 6 new Wicklow schools to join the Scheme.
“6 new Wicklow schools have been invited to join the School Meals Scheme by the Department of Social Protection. They are Clochar Muire NS , Rathdrum, Rathdrum Boys NS, Carnew NS, Tinahely NS, St John’s Senior School, Arklow and Woodbrook College, Bray.
“I encourage all of these schools to respond to this invitation and apply for the Scheme as soon as possible.
“The School Meals Scheme provides funding towards the provision of food to schools and organisations benefitting over 200,000 children nationally at a total cost of some €47.7 million during 2017.
“It’s a really important Scheme providing breakfasts and in some cases, lunches to school children. Breakfast clubs are prioritised as they provide very positive outcomes for vulnerable children in terms of their energy levels, punctuality and school attendance.
“It is really important that, as our economy continues to recover and grow, we give back to the people and families who need it most.
“I can think of no better way to do this than to invest in providing school meals to children in Wicklow who need them. The whole point of this Scheme 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.
“That’s why the Government expanded the School Meals Scheme this year and increased funding for the Scheme by an additional €5.7 million (almost 14% over the previous year’s allocation).
“We are now including some schools which are experiencing disadvantage but are not necessarily designated as DEIS Schools. It is great that these 6 schools in Wicklow are now going to benefit.”