Calls for free school meals to be provided during summer

Calls for free school meals to be provided during summer
A woman making a packed lunch. Picture: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

There are calls for the government to provide meals to disadvantaged children up to their return to school in the autumn.

The Labour Party says many families are under particular pressure this summer due to Covid-19.

More than one thousand people have signed a petition calling on the government to provide free school meals to disadvantaged children over summer.

It comes after a similar campaign backed by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford resulted in a u-turn by the British Government.

Aodhán Ó'Riordáin is calling on the Department of Education to row back on its decision not to provide meals over summer.

He says the cost of €10m is a small sum to help families in difficulty.

"This is a particularly desperate situation for families because of the level of unemployment, because of the level of other strains on families," he said.

"Meals being as regular as the school meals had been would be a welcome break for the summer.

"It's a very unusual situation. We're not asking for it to happen every summer but this summer, I think everyone would agree, is unusual."

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