School Meals Programme Guidance Programme

Please find attached an updated version of the School Meals Programme Guidance Document.

If there are any queries they can be emailed to

20200329 school meals updated guidance final pdf

The following are answers to some queries received on School Meals Guidance via the email address:   

If you intend to use the services of An Post for delivery, please note that this service can only be used for non-perishable goods only. An Post does not have refrigeration facilities and the packages may be in the depot overnight as they will travel through the An Post network to pupils’ home addresses.

Mail will travel on a FREEPOST basis. Food packages for delivery to pupils should be non-perishable goods, weighing no more than 30kg each and securely wrapped, suitable for transport via the postal system.

Schools are not being asked to share pupils’ addresses to An Post. Food packages will need to be addressed by schools, and will then need to be delivered by the school to the An Post Delivery Service Unit (DSU), for delivery to pupils’ home address by An Post.

As outlined to education representative management bodies on Friday, the Guidance document outlines that this initiative is school-led. It is not necessarily intended that every child who received school meals continues to receive these during this period. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that those pupils most in need continue to access to food provision. It was for that reason that the guidance document indicated that:


“In considering those who might be most in need of support………..It may be useful for schools to contact families already in receipt of support under the School Meals Programme to establish if they wish to continue to avail of this support during this period of school closure”.

There was consultation with the Department of Health in developing the guidelines and the relevant advice in relation to physical distancing is included.

Should you have any queries on guidance, please contact social_inclusion@education