The North Down MLA was talking after receiving a letter from the Division of Training, which acknowledged on account of budgetary pressures, the Division was ‘contemplating the problem’ of the Faculty Vacation Meals Grant Scheme, which gives a grant to over 100,000 households right here instead of free college meals over vacation intervals.
The earlier Training Minister solely secured the scheme till March 2023, with Ms Egan saying it had proved to be a lifeline for a lot of 1000’s of households throughout Northern Eire.
“For a lot of kids, their college dinner is the one sizzling meal they eat that day and the necessity for it doesn’t finish when holidays start,” she stated.
“Provision of free college means isn’t just about meals, however performs a key function in tackling underachievement and giving our youngsters the very best begin to life. The present value of residing disaster has solely served to strengthen the worth of this scheme. We should not enable our youngsters to go hungry over the vacations throughout a interval of monetary hardship.
“I strongly urge the Division to urgently decide to funding the Faculty Vacation Meals Grant Scheme for the subsequent monetary 12 months at a minimal. Nevertheless, we additionally urgently must see the restoration of our Meeting and Government with a purpose to deal with this concern in a long-term, sustainable style.
“Alliance has lengthy campaigned for the eradication of vacation starvation. It’s important these funds are continued and integrated into the Division’s provision of free college meals.”