On 26 March, the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Education Minister Peter Weir announced plans to make sure families do not experience hardship as a result of schools closing.
The new scheme will see the introduction of direct payments to families whose children would usually benefit from a school meal. Almost 97,000 children in Northern Ireland are entitled to free school meals.
Families will receive £2.70 per child per day for each day of term the schools are closed. This money will be paid to families on a fortnightly basis starting from Monday, 23 March. Payments will begin to reach bank accounts from 1st April. Please be patient as the Education Authority is working round the clock to ensure payments are made as soon as possible and it is expected that the majority of people entitled to free school meals will receive payment by Friday 3rd April 2020.
For more information, visit the Department of Education Website.