Niavac Chief Executive joins the Good Food Fund to help replace school meal programme

A leading local businessman has offered £10,000 to help replace the Northern Ireland schools’ ‘holiday hunger’ programme.

James Conlon, CEO of Niavac, pledged the amount this week and has urged other businesses and business leaders to get involved.

The Department of Education announced earlier this week that it was stopping the “holiday hunger” payments for children entitled to free school meals.

Since July 2020, families of 96,000 children eligible for free school meals have received £27 per child each fortnight during school holidays.

The school holiday food grant was to help low-income families with the cost of feeding children.

The department said that it was ending the scheme “with great reluctance” due to a lack of funding. It means that families will not receive the payments for the Easter school holidays, which are due to begin on Monday in many schools.