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For Written Answer on : 26/10/2022
Question Number(s): 113 Question Reference(s): 53606/22
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of schools availing of the school meals local projects scheme; the number of applications for inclusion in the scheme that were received in 2021 and to date in 2022; the number of successful and unsuccessful applications in each of these years; her plans to further expand the scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


The School Meals Programme provides funding towards the provision of food services to some 1,700 schools and organisations and benefitting 260,000 children.  The objective of the programme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, to take full advantage of the education provided to them.  The programme is an important component of policies to encourage school attendance and extra educational achievement.
Budget 2022 provided €68.1 million for the programme with an additional €9m provided to allow access to all new DEIS schools from September 2022.  Additional funding for the programme has been provided for 2023 bringing the total to €91.6m.
The number of applications received for inclusion in the scheme in 2021/2022 and to date in 2022/2023, as well as the number of successful/unsuccessful applications in each of these school years, is set out in the attached tabular statement.  The department continues to accept applications from schools for funding to end of November 2022.
I am committed to continuing to expand the school meals programme and building further on the significant extension of the programme in recent years.  In this regard, I commissioned the evaluation of the school meals programme to review all elements of the programme.  The final report is due to be completed by the end of the year and will be published thereafter.

School Meals Local Projects Applications Breakdown

 2021/2022 2022/2023 
Received 1,3951,119
Allowed 1,339724
Disallowed 166
Withdrawn 3618
Pending 4371