Wicklow school students to benefit from expansion of the School Meals Scheme

schooldinnersWicklow 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.”

 

Remember to make sure your passport is in order before you travel – Doyle

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With many Wicklow people planning foreign holidays at this time of year, local Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle is reminding everyone to make sure their travel documents are in order before they travel.

“Before you book your trip it is important to look at your passport and check its expiry date. If you’re booking for your children, remember to check their passports too.”

“When applying, allow at least six weeks for your passport application. Delays are often encountered when forms are incorrectly completed and the six weeks allows time for any issues to be dealt with. My constituency office has been inundated with queries from constituents who have used passport express service not realising that it can take up to three weeks to issues passports.”

“Turnaround times for passports can vary depending on demand volumes but the Department of Foreign Affairs recommends allowing 4 weeks for renewals & 6 weeks for first time applicants. If you require your passport within 3 weeks of travel you must book an appointment with the Passport office in Dublin. Adults can also apply for Passport cards and they are available within 5 working days.

“For genuine emergencies there is a Rapid Renewal Service. Certain specific documentation is required for this and candidates have to go to the Passport Office on Lower Mount Street in Dublin. There are, however, limitations to this service, so it’s best to check your passport now and get your application in on time.

This is all available on the website – https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice – and through a special free Smartphone App called TravelWise.”