West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Kelly backs O'Dowd bid for free school breakfasts

Published: 7 May, 2014

Omagh Sinn Féin representative Catherine Kelly has backed Education Minister John O'Dowd's bid to access EU funds to provide free school breakfast clubs here.

Ms Kelly said:

"Education Minister John O'Dowd has submitted a bid to the €3.5million Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).

"If successful, this money will be used to provide free breakfast clubs for children from low-income households.

"This would be an extremely positive addition to the existing free school meal programme.

"None of us should underestimate the important contribution which a healthy, nutritionally balanced meal can make to a child's overall health and wellbeing, to learning and cognitive development and, in turn, to academic performance.

"The British government is resistant to accessing this fund, preferring, to reduce spending as we have seen through their Welfare Cuts agenda. This is contributing to the increased number of children facing social disadvantage.

"However, Sinn Féin's record on opposing these cuts and in preventing other retrograde steps such as the imposition of water charges, student fee increases and the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance proves that we will always defend the interests of our young people and their families."