Stronger Starts programme

Natasha Adams, CEO, pictured at St Joseph’s National School, Fermoy, Cork with Mark Lyndon, Home School Community Liaison Officer and Geraldine Burke, school principal.

Our Stronger Starts programme, helping families facing food insecurity in Ireland, began as a pilot in November 2021.

Stronger Starts builds on the work of the Good Grub Initiative who, during Covid-19 restrictions with support from home school community liaison officers, identified families who needed additional support at home, through DEIS schools. The initiative complements the existing Government programme which provide food supports to children and their families.

During the pilot programme, which ran from November to January, 40 DEIS schools were provided with 1,000 packs of healthy and nutritious food parcels - containing apples, onions, potatoes, and carrots - per week, which were then distributed to children and families most in need.

Across this school year, the programme will double to 2,000 packs through 80 DEIS schools, and we're delighted to be supported by our long-standing local suppliers, Country Crest, Keelings and Dole as they come on board to support children in need.

By May 2023, the programme will have provided over one million meals through DEIS schools around Ireland.

The Stronger Starts programme sits within our suite of community supports - including our Tesco Community Fund, and our work with FoodCloud and OLIO to redistribute surplus food to those in need - all of which are helping to build thriving communities across Ireland.  Find out more here.

Stronger Starts - helping families facing food insecurity in Ireland

Healthy recipes

As part of the rollout of the programme, we're calling on people from across the country to share their family-favourite recipes, which contain potatoes, carrots, onion or apples - key ingredients in the weekly Stronger Starts food parcels. For more information, and terms and conditions, click here.

During the pilot programme from November 2021 to January 2022, we worked with Katie Gleeson - an online content creator and photographer, who lives on a working dairy farm in county Tipperary - and former Dublin footballer Philly McMahon, who developed some healthy recipes, which will be shared with recipients of the food packages. These are available to view below:

There are also some more healthy recipes available on the Good Grub website.