Saint Patrick's Catholic Voluntary Academy

'Open your mind, open your heart, welcome to success'


Free Meals to All

Since 2019 St Patrick's has provided free meals to all pupils, irrespective of their parents financial situation.


No child should be too hungry to learn. Children’s behaviour and learning outcomes suffer when they regularly experience hunger and that nearly every aspect of physical and mental function is hurt as well. Food insecurity affects concentration, memory, mood, and motor skills, all of which a child needs to be able to be successful in school. Beyond academic achievement, hunger can hurt a child's ability to build and strengthen their socialemotional skills. When children are hungry, they typically have less energy and the ability to focus. Feeling tired and distracted impacts a child's social interactions and behaviour. When children are hungry, they have an increased possibility for behavioural issues like hyperactivity, aggression or anxiety. Their moods can change. When they are feeling that physical hunger, it impacts their emotional and their mental well-being, causing them to act out in different ways.


St Patrick's sits in the 12th most deprived area in the country and the most deprived area in Sheffield.  As such we wanted to remove the stigma of free schools meals and the Governors took the decision to fund from budget free breakfast and free dinners to all pupils.


We brought our catering in house so that all money received by the school is used for school meals and not funding profit making external companies.  Plus we can ensure the quality of our food and reduce our carbon foot print.

Grants, donations, fundraising takes place throughout the year towards this project.


St Patrick's is currently the only school in Sheffield providing free meals to all pupils and one of very few around the country.  We have advised and mentored many other schools around the country on how to provide this free meal to all.   


Parents/carers thank us on a regular basis for this initiative and it helps tremendously in the current cost of living crisis. 

Saint Patrick's Catholic Voluntary Academy

'Open your mind, open your heart, welcome to success'

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