Extra 900 schools to benefit from hot meals

Extra 900 schools to benefit from hot meals
A lunch tray in the school canteen during the beginning of the roll-out of universal free school meals for primary school children at Ysgol Y Preseli in Pembrokeshire. Most reception pupils in Wales will begin receiving free school meals as they return to school this September. The scheme, which is one of the strands of the Welsh Government's co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru, is due to be fully rolled out by 2024. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2022.

An extra 900 schools are set to receive hot meals next year.

It brings the total to 1400 schools across Ireland where children will benefit from free hot meals.

The programme was originally launched in 2019, with just 30 schools included in the trial.

From April 2024, approximately 150 schools in the South East will be added to the scheme.


The addition of 900 extra schools was announced in Budget 2024. However earlier this year, it was announced that all DEIS schools would be added to the programme.

The target for the Department of Social Protection is to have the scheme rolled out to all schools around the country by 2030.

You can find the full list of schools added to the programme here.

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