‘No decision’ on continuing free school meals during holidays after 100,000 NI children aided during summer

More than 100,000 children in Northern Ireland benefited from an extension of free school meals over the summer.

owever, the Department of Education said “no decision” had yet been taken on whether to extend the scheme for all school holidays in Northern Ireland.

The Summer Food Payment Scheme ran between July 1 and August 31.

Education Minister Peter Weir said 100,570 children received assistance costing £11,942,445.

This includes 88 children of asylum seekers who were provided with support, at a cost of around £10,400.

Mr Weir added that the remainder of the £12m funding has yet to be returned to the Executive.

He was responding to an Assembly question from SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan.

A department spokesperson explained that during the summer period all families received a grant equivalent to the cost of a free school meal (£2.70) for five days per week.

“Catering services in schools are now fully

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