The Government has committed £1.6 million to funding an Island-wide expansion of school meals for primary school children in Jersey.
The funding, lodged as part of the Government Plan 2023-2024, follows a pilot launched by the Government in 2019.
If approved by the States Assembly, the funding will enable the expansion of the pilot from five primary schools to all government-maintained primary schools. As well as the meals themselves, the funding also includes the cost of creating facilities to store and serve meals to children.
The Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore (pictured), said: “This substantial sum of funding underpins our commitment to supporting children and families. The access that children have to healthy food has an impact on their development and their school performance: it is also a key predictor of their health throughout their life.
“This intervention is timely. We know that the cost of living is rising, and that there are many families for whom providing healthier options is becoming harder. Alongside the substantial financial support we announced in the mini budget, the provision of school meals will provide more options for families.”
Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “In the Council of Ministers’ 100 Day Plan, we committed to funding the expansion of the school meal plan, and I have worked closely with officers to make this happen.
“I recognise exactly how ambitious this plan is: if funding is approved, we will go from providing a few hundred meals a day to several thousand meals a day. This is more than double the number produced by the General Hospital every day, for delivery across the Island.
“This is a huge logistical challenge, and I recognise that there is a substantial amount of work needed to make this happen. However, it is absolutely worth doing to ensure that as many children as possible can benefit from healthy meals.”