In December 2022 The James Kane Foundation agreed to fund a number of school food programmes, an initiative originally launched by the Belfast Charitable Society earlier in the month. With additional funding from the Foundation, a further 16 schools from some of the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland were provided with financial support to help them feed more of their children.
A spokesperson from one of the schools commented “As a school we are delighted to receive this funding to help support our pupils and we are so grateful to you and the Foundation for this donation. This money will help so many of our girls whose families are facing the most difficult times ahead.”
Almost £100k is being provided by The James Kane Foundation to the following schools: St Joseph’s Boys School, Creggan; St Brigid’s College, Carnhill; St Cecila’s College, Derry; Dunluce School; De La Salle College; Dundonald High School; Malone Integrated College; St Marys College, L’Derry; Oakgrove Integrated College; St Genevieve’s High School; Coleraine College; Movilla High School; Abbey Community College, Newtownabbey; Ashfield Boys’ High School, Belfast; St Joseph’s College, Belfast; Brownlow College, Craigavon. Many of these schools have already started to ramp up their food programmes in anticipation of the additional funding.
“The funding has enabled us, as a school, to continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for all our pupils. We are grateful for the donation as we know the difference it makes in the lives of our children”, Niamh Murray, Vice Principal, Brownlow Integrated College, Craigavon.
Oakgrove Integrated College is very grateful to The James Kane Foundation for the money which will support our efforts to feed children. We found the return to school a challenge for many families who struggled to meet the additional costs. Delays in administering the free school meal entitlement meant that we had students to feed who literally could not afford to pay. In Covid times, Marcus Rashford showed the country the importance of feeding children, and the sacrifices his mother made for him. This grant has helped us cover the cost of feeding children and so ensure that whatever their circumstances, every child gets a fair chance, and it’s one less worry for anxious parents already stretched.” John Harkin – Acting Principal, Oakgrove Integrated College, L’Derry.
“Dundonald High School wish to thank the James Kane Foundation for their generous donation to our school community at this difficult time. The funds will go towards providing hot meals to all of our pupils for the last week of January and the first week in February. January is a very long month following the cost of Christmas and this funding is really appreciated and will help ease the pressure that parents and carers are feeling financially.”, Principal of Dundonald High School
Michael Wilson, Chair of The James Kane Foundation, commented “As a board we felt very strongly that the Foundation should support the initiative led by the Belfast Charitable Society. The Foundation hopes that its contribution will help schools and families amid the cost of living crisis, and enhance the educational experience of the children.”
Since Belfast Charitable Society started this initiative, other funders in addition to The James Kane Foundation have also come on board to support schools with food programmes. This includes Ulster Garden Villages and the ARN fund, amounting to nearly £250,000 of funding.