60,000 students enrolled in DEIS schools will not have access to the school lunches scheme this September.
310 schools around the country are being added to the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme for the upcoming school year but will not receive meals as part of the package.
The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that funding is only available for schools which are currently in the programme.
Louise Tobin is the principal of St Joseph’s Primary School in Tipperary town which has recently been given DEIS status but won't receive any lunches.
She says the meals are a huge benefit for disadvantaged families.
"School lunches increase school attendance in disadvantaged areas. It's the one tangible thing that parents can see because the children love it.
"For parents in disadvantaged areas this is a big, big bonus to know their child is going to get a healthy lunch everyday."