CBS primary now offering free lunches to all 450 pupils
Pupils at Dundalk primary school CBS are enjoying tasty free school meals delivered right to their desk for the first time this Autumn.
CBS have just been added to the list of Deis schools (Delivering equality of opportunity in schools) in the area, and are according to Home School Community Liasion Co-ordinator, Maria Doyle “delighted to be able to offer every child in the school a free meal every day.”
"We have been working with a company called the Lunch Bag, where children and their parents can order the lunches through an app. They have a wide variety of foods to choose from, including a selection of rolls and sandwiches, which are all free, along with a wide variety of fruit.”
She adds: “At the moment it is just cold lunches, but we hope around mid term to be able to offer children a hot meal every day.”
The reaction from kids has been “really good so far.. I think they are enjoying the novelty of it!” she adds.
"It is helping children to try new foods, as they see others eating something and then they might want to try it.”
Lunch is served at their desk, encouraging them to “eat and chat with their friends.”
"We really are trying to encourage social eating again, especially after they have been isolated for so long during Covid, and then restricted to pods when they returned to school. This is a relaxing way for them to enjoy lunch, with more conversation, and less distraction, almost like a family lunch. The children really do seem to be enjoying it.”
To reduce waste, all of the packaging is compostable, and the school has set up a system to donate any left over lunches to a local charity.
"Our Green Schools Committee are also dealing with any waste, including food waste, that comes with the process, including the composting of fruit.”
She adds that allergies are also catered for in the menu, as are different food choices including Halal.
"With the cost of living crisis, this should mean there is one less burden on families in our schools this winter, and we are delighted to be able to offer it to them.”
"There are some families who have two, three and maybe four children in our school, and we hope the free school meals represents a significant saving for them.”