Covid-19 - Latest Updates

School Meals Programme

The DES has issued an updated guidance note including FAQs on what schools should and need to do to make sure pupils have continued access to school meals during school closures including the Easter holiday period. It is considered an ‘essential service’. To facilitate this HSCL and SCP staff have been contacted by TESS and asked to liaise with school principals where they currently work to maintain this service. It is considered to be travelling for work purposes. Volunteers assisting with the School Meals Programme are also covered. 

Distribution Arrangements:

  • Arrangements can be put in place that the provision of food parcels is no more than once per week
  • Collection of food parcels from schools by individuals should only take place where delivery to pupils’ home addresses is not possible and where collection can be arranged strictly in line with HSE Covid-19 physical distancing guidelines. Collections of school meals by individuals can continue until such time as a school has made alternative arrangements for distribution
  • Delivery via An Post (Freepost) can be put in place where local arrangements for distribution are not in place or no longer feasible:
  • Food parcels should be non-perishable goods, weighing no more than 30kg each and securely wrapped
  • Food parcels will need to delivered to An Post Delivery Service Unit (DSU), for delivery to pupils’ home address by An Post

Additional assistance where required:
Each local authority is co-ordinating Community Support Network Programmes to assist with volunteer efforts. Each County has a Community Champion whose role is to direct queries and requests for assistance to local community and voluntary groups. School principals may contact the Community Champion if they wish to enlist support through the local community & voluntary groups to assist.

Options for Schools:

  1. Delivery of food to central site (e.g. School Hall, Community Centre)
  2. Purchase food from a Wholesaler or Local Supermarket
  3. Link in with local charity or community group
  4. Pooling staff resources


If you require any clarification on the school meals programme please email or telephone 071 9138625.
If you require clarification in relation to the guidance above, please email social_inclusion

DES Schools Meals Programme Guidance Note (Updated)

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