Education Minister McIlveen announces 'holiday hunger' payments for Northern Ireland school children

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen

Families of children entitled to a free school meal will receive a school holiday food grant this summer, Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced.

Around £12.6million has been provided to continue the scheme which was first set up during the pandemic to support those not able to attend school.

Minister McIlveen said: “School holidays can create significant financial pressure for parents on low incomes and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is causing further strain on household budgets across Northern Ireland.

"That is why I am allocating £12.6m funding to provide the families of children entitled to free school meals with additional financial support over the summer holidays."

She continued: “At a time when many families are already financially vulnerable, this payment will help to ensure that more than 100,000 of our children and young people can continue to access healthy, nutritious food this summer. “This is an anxious time for many low income parents and I hope confirmation of this payment will provide some reassurance to them and alleviate some of the pressure they are experiencing.” The summer holiday food grant will run from 1 July to 31 August 2022. It will provide financial assistance to families whose children are entitled to a free school meal during term time and eligible at the end of June 2022. Families will receive £13.50 per week for each entitled child.