Applications for Funding
Funding is granted on a year-to-year basis. The granting of funding does not confer automatic entitlement to funding in subsequent years.
Accounts must be submitted to this Department at the end of the school year or as soon as possible thereafter. An Income and Expenditure Return is available to download from this page.
Applications for the next school year must be submitted at that time also. Failure to submit applications may result in a delay in the issue of funding or funding being refused
If you are planning on operating a food club funded by this Department in the next school year, you must submit an application form in advance of that school year even if you have surplus funds in your account.
Payment of Funding
Funding issues in 2 installments, at the beginning of the school year and at the start of the following calendar year.
From the beginning of the school year 2010/2011, funding will be paid by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) directly to a nominated bank account. It is recommended that a separate bank account be used for School Meals Scheme funding.
Records to be retained/submitted
At the end of every school year appropriate accounting records showing vouched income and expenditure for each school year must be submitted to the School Meals Section. Accounts must show all expenditure of the project and all sources of funding – statutory and voluntary.
Please use the Income and Expenditure Report provided on this web page to submit your end of year accounts.
Your total expenditure for the school year shown in your end-of-year accounts should reflect the overall attendance (for example based on roll attendance) during the year. It is the responsibility of the school or project to ensure that food is purchased only for children in attendance and that no funding is spent in relation to known absentees.
All records, both manual and electronic, relating to funding provided under the School Meals Scheme must be retained for a minimum of six years and be available for inspection. When requested to do so, copies of these records must be furnished to the Department
Please read carefully the section entitled 'End of Year Procedures' for further information.
What is covered by your funding
Funding is for healthy nutritious food only and must not be spent on confectionary, crisps, fizzy drinks, fried food, fast food etc. Your end-of-year accounts and receipts will be inspected to ensure you are complying with this requirement. Further information regarding healthy eating for children is available from the Health Promotion Unit of the Health Services Executive and in 'A Good Practice Guide for School Food Initiative' produced by Health Food for All.
The food provided must be of good quality and prepared and consumed in appropriate facilities. All health and safety issues are the responsibility of the school/project.
Deciding on the exact food items to provide, and the method of providing the food and the supplier(s) to use, is the responsibility of each school/project.
Funding is for food items only. It cannot be used to fund administration, equipment, salaries, bank charges, or any non-food purchases. Your end-of-year accounts and receipts will be inspected to ensure you are complying with this requirement. Please ensure that non-food items are manually deducted from receipts before they are forwarded to this Department.
Funding under the School Meals Local Projects Scheme is allocated on the basis of a rate per meal, per child, per day. If you are aware that a child will not be in attendance for a particular day/number of days, meals should not be purchased for that child.
Please note -
The aim of the School Meals Local Projects Scheme is to provide regular nutritious food to children who are unable, by reason of lack of food, to take full advantage of the education provided for them. Funding must be targeted at disadvantaged children and distributed equitably among schools/projects.
Please review your food clubs to ensure that the funding provided is being put to the best use, that the clubs are targeting the most disadvantaged children, and that there is no wastage. If you feel that any of your provision is superfluous, please adjust your application for the coming school year to reflect this. This will enable us to ensure that the benefits of the School Meals funding are maximised by directing it to the most disadvantaged children in society.
End of Year Procedures
- You must submit appropriate accounting records at the end of the school year, including an income and expenditure account which should show:
- The allocation of funding under the School Meals Scheme (the amount of money received plus any surplus carried forward from the previous year)
- The amount of money, if any, received from other sources for the food club(s)
- The amount of money spent, on a weekly or monthly basis, on food items for the food clubs funded by the Scheme during the school year
- The surplus or deficit balance at the end of the school year. If a deficit occurs, please state how this has been funded.
- You must also submit actual receipts/invoices detailing expenditure and the actual food items purchased for one sample month during the school year.
- You must ensure that a record is kept on a daily basis of all students receiving food under this programme. This record must include the name of the student and details of meals supplied to him/her under this programme. If your school/organisation operates a cash till, please ensure that the till is correctly programmed to provide a record of all meals consumed on a daily basis.
- Applications for funding for in respect of future school years will be dependent on your meeting this requirement to our satisfaction
- You must submit a completed application form for the next school year, plus the accounting records detailed above, at the end of the current school year or before the 3rd week of September in the next school year at the latest.
- If you do not require funding for the next school year due to surplus funding remaining in your account at the end of the current school year, an application to use that surplus must still be made.
- If you do not intend to apply for further funding, you must submit the accounting records described above and return any remaining funding to this Department.
- All records, both manual and electronic, relating to funding provided under the School Meals Scheme must be retained for a minimum of six years and be available for inspection. The inspection may include an on-site visit by an officer of the Department.