The scheme is being rolled out to an additional 16,000 students in Ireland.
Six midlands schools will benefit from the extension of the hot meals programme.
A further €3 million euro injection from the government will see it rolled out to an additional 16,000 students in Ireland.
Three schools in Westmeath, two in Offaly and one in Laois have been selected.
Making today’s announcement, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said;
“I am really pleased today to announce an extension of the Hot School Meals Programme to 81 DEIS schools across the country.
“This €3 million investment, which I secured as part of the Budget, means we can significantly expand the programme to benefit up to 16,000 primary school pupils who were previously availing of the cold lunch option.
“Receiving a hot meal in the middle of the day is so important for nutrition but also for a child’s mental and physical wellbeing.
“It also leads to better educational outcomes and an improvement in the overall wellbeing of our children.
“As Minister, I am delighted to see this programme extended so that thousands more children and their families can benefit.”
The midlands schools added to the programme are...
Mercy Primary School, Birr
S N Proinsias Naofa, Clarach
Castlepollard Mixed N S, Castlepollard
Naomh Micheal N S, Castletown-Finea, Mullingar
Naomh Muire N S, Fiodh An Atha, Mullingar
Scoil Bhride N S, Harpurs Lane, Knockmay