Tesco Stronger Starts programme to double impact to 240 schools by end of 2024 

Twins Ben and Ava Wallace (age 7) from St Michael’s Primary School, Cootehill, Cavan helping Tesco Ireland announce plans to double the reach of its Stronger Starts programme to help children in 240 DEIS primary schools

Tesco aims to provide children in 240 DEIS primary schools who are most at risk of food insecurity with a food pack of fresh produce



7 September 2023

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Tesco Ireland has committed to doubling the reach of its Stronger Starts programme by the end of 2024. As a result, Tesco says hundreds more primary school children most in need and their families will receive free nutritious fresh fruit and veg to help with healthier meal solutions at home.

Stronger Starts is an innovative community support programme from Tesco that helps to build thriving communities nationwide. By doubling its reach, Tesco aims to provide children in 240 DEIS primary schools who are most at risk of food insecurity with a food pack containing fresh apples, onions, potatoes, and carrots every week.

Speaking at the announcement in St Michael’s National School, Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Minister for Social Protection and Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys said she was delighted to support Stronger Starts.

“This initiative very much complements my own Department’s Hot School Meals Programme, which is having a hugely positive impact in schools the length and breadth of the country,” Minister Humphreys said.

“Providing nutritious meals to our children at school is about so much more than food. It helps a child make the most of their education and their childhood,” she continued. “It does wonders for our children’s wellbeing, their concentration and their physical and mental health.

“We know from talking to parents and teachers that a hot meal in the middle of the day really does hold its weight in gold. And so I want to commend Tesco for their work in bringing the Tesco stronger Starts initiative from strength to strength.”

“It’s fantastic to see how well the programme has been received since it began in 2021, having provided over 1 million meals to date,” added Natasha Adams, Tesco Ireland CEO. “We want to continue to make a positive change for children and their families in communities across Ireland who are at risk of food insecurity.”

Stronger Starts began as a pilot programme in partnership with The Good Grub Initiative in November 2021, providing 1,000 food parcels per week to children across 40 DEIS schools.

The number of weekly packs tripled to 3,000 across 120 DEIS schools in 2022 and by May this year Tesco had achieved the ambitious goal of delivering over one million meals*. The programme is supported by long-standing Tesco Ireland suppliers Country Crest, Keelings and Dole, and complements existing government programmes that also provide food supports to schoolchildren and their families nationwide.

Tesco has also been appointed one of Ireland’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) champions for 2023-2024 by Minister Eamon Ryan. As a grocery retailer, Tesco Ireland says it is particularly committed to ‘SDG2 Tackling Hunger’, aiming to drive awareness through its Stronger Starts programme.

Stronger Starts sits alongside a number of  other community supports from Tesco, including the Tesco Community Fund, its long-term charity partnership with Children’s Health Foundation and work with FoodCloud and Olio to redistribute surplus food to those in need.




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