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Monastery National School, Ardee, Co. Louth

Free Hot Lunches


Dear Parent/Guardian,

Monastery NS provides high quality FREE Hot Lunches to every pupil every day. Our service provider is "The Lunch Bag" and they deliver meals to our school every day. Ovens have been fitted in the school and a lunch person is charged with heating the meals and bringing them to the classroom.

How do I get my child’s free hot meal? First of all download The Lunch Bag App. You will then be given a letter with a unique activation code on it. Please follow the steps carefully in this letter to order your child’s free hot meals.

 If you are already a Lunch Bag user, you can use your old Lunch Bag log in, however, your child’s information will have to be re-added.

Ordering - The easy-to-use app will allow you to order from up to 9 different hot meals each day. You can have a different meal every day of the week if you wish. Meals can be repeated every week, or changed every day if you prefer. You can change your order up to 36 hours before the day you want lunch. e.g., if you want to change your order for Monday, please do so before midnight Saturday. If you want to change lunch for Tuesday, please do so before midnight Sunday. Meals can be changed as often or as little as you please, whenever you want.

What can I order? Families will be able to order from a menu that caters for all children. Check out the sample menu here. Meals include chicken curry and rice, Pasta Bolognese, Roast chicken/beef and potatoes, hot rolls and ciabattas. Basically, we offer firm family favourites, building our menu on what children love to eat.

How does food arrive? Each child will be given a compostable box with their name and order on it. These individual boxes will be delivered directly to their classroom at lunch time. Each child will be given a compostable fork and napkin to help them eat. The empty box is collected by our school lunch’s person and disposed of in the school.

What do I need to send to school for my child to eat/drink? Children will be given a free hot meal for their ‘big lunch’. However, you can choose to buy an ‘extra snack’ from The Lunch Bag and have it delivered to the classroom if you wish. These snacks begin at a very reasonable 40c. Your child has been given a free BPA water bottle by The Lunch Bag for them to take their water in to school. Free drinks are not offered by the Programme.

What if I forget to order? A default order will be sent to all children for the first few days until families change their order as they so wish. If you forget to order, a selection of firm favourites will be on hand to ensure no child goes hungry. However, we do encourage you to take a few moments each week to plan your child’s lunch with their input, as a hot meal during the day has been proven to increase mood, attention, and digestion – but we really want parent and child approval too!

What if my child does not like the food? As a school meal specialist for the past 3 years, The Lunch Bag has encountered every taste bud imaginable! We firmly believe there is a meal to suit every child – from plain eaters to adventurous palates – and we offer all.

Furthermore, Monastery NS receive great feedback from families stating their kids are now tasting lots of new meals as they are experiencing them in a positive peer environment and at a point in the day when their hunger is peak – so do consider trialling new meals they haven’t tried before.  

How do I pay? Monastery NS School meals are completely free of charge! You will only be required to add money via a bank card on the app if you choose to add an extra snack. If you do add money for snacks, then change your mind, the money will be returned to you without obligation.

What if my child has an allergen? When you register your child on the app, you will be asked to add any allergen they may have. Once completed, any meal containing that allergen will be removed from your menu. Meals containing allergens are prepared in an allergen specific area. The Lunch Bag is a 100% nut free facility.

Dietary/cultural requirements - If you require detailed dietary information due to health grounds, you can email  to receive these. These will also be available to view on our website at

How do I know the food is high quality? The Lunch Bag has a reputation for outstanding food quality from over 500 schools and 100,000 families nationwide. Their fresh food is sourced from the highest quality providers nationwide and is subject to frequent inspections from the Environmental Health Officer. Our highest badge of honour however comes from the fact that our own children and staff eat this food daily – and love it! All meals are made in line with Healthy Ireland Guidelines and portioned in line with same. If there is any aspect of the food you are unhappy with, a feedback section on the app will allow you to contact them directly.

Where is the food made? All food is prepped in the Lunch Bag state-of-the-art facility in Nenagh Co Tipperary by a team of highly trained staff. All are trained to HACCP level 3 at a minimum.


The introduction of a hot school meal will be a tremendous addition not only to Monastery National School, but to the whole school community. We so look forward to serving you all.


If you have any further queries, please contact The Lunch Bag directly on 067-56002 or email 


Check out the menu here -


I hope your son or daughter enjoys our free tasty lunches, 

Yours sincerely,

Jim McGee, Principal.


Lunchtime at Monastery NS