Local Food Links – Survey results at-a-glance

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey back in November. Our focus was to understand how families are dealing with the cost-of-living crisis and if children entitled to free school meals were using their entitlement. We also posed some ad-hoc questions to see what improvements we might need to focus on.

Click the link to see the Survey Results

We asked and you answered:

What are your child’s 3 favourite school meals?

There was a huge variety of choices, but the most popular were: Fish and Chips, Roast Dinners, Pizza, Meatball Sub, Jacket Potatoes, Lasagne, Sausages, Macaroni Cheese

What would you or your child like adding to the school menu?

Again, a huge number of suggestions but the most popular were: Hot Dogs, Noodles, Meatballs and Spaghetti, Chicken Nuggets, Chocolate Cake, Traditional Puddings

We would like to acknowledge that we have had some wonderful suggestions, although, as much as we may like some of the food ideas, we are restricted by the government School Food Standards: . We are a non-profit organisation and any surplus from supplying meals is invested back into the company. Of course, we have to pay suppliers, salaries, fuel, utilities and other bills, but the money that’s left over goes back into supporting our work – which is to bring healthy food to more children and support local businesses.

Other comments/ suggestions were as follows:

More veggie/ vegan options – we offer a tasty vegetarian option daily as well as meat or fish choices. We are consistently developing and trying out new vegetarian options for future menus. We do provide a separate Vegan menu and to register your interest please email

More yoghurt and fruit desserts – we will look at the possibility of including more in future menus.

Order reminders requested – Click the link to sign up to our order reminders

Portion sizes for older pupils – The School Food Standards determine Primary School portion sizes (Reception to Year 6) and Secondary School portion sizes (Years 7 to 11 ). We adhere to the School Food Standards and will always provide a healthy, balanced and nutritious meal for your child. Some schools ensure that any surplus food is shared amongst older pupils who might still be hungry.

Free School Meals for All – We will continue to campaign to extend the eligibility for free school meals so that everyone who may need additional support can access hot school meals! However, your voice also needs to be heard! Please use the link, complete the 2-minute form, and help us to support the campaign. By doing so, a letter will go directly on your behalf to your MP demanding action. The more politicians hear from the people they represent, the more likely they are to act: –

Meal photos – These are available on our Local Food Links Facebook Business page.

School often runs out of pudding – We are concerned to read this. The LFL kitchens provide puddings/desserts for every child who has ordered a hot meal. In addition to this we send out a percentage of fruit, in case any child prefers to have the fruit option instead. There should therefore be spare pudding or fruit every day and schools normally monitor the situation. Please speak to the school if this is a concern.

Gravy or Sauces to be served separately – All our food including our sauces such as Gravy, Tomato Ketchup and Pasta Sauces etc leave the LFL kitchen as separate elements, it is then the job of the school lunchtime staff to serve the children their meal and, at this point, the child can request no sauce. If, however, your child doesn’t feel confident enough to ask the serving staff, then please contact the school directly and request this on their behalf.

Thank you very much to everyone who responded to our Survey – the highest number so far! We are delighted to have so much direct and positive feedback and please know that all comments have been read and considered.


Not For Profit

Local Food Links Ltd is a community owned social enterprise.

So what does that mean? Basically, we’re a not for profit organisation. That means all the money we bring in from supplying meals is invested back into the company.

Of course, we have to pay suppliers, salaries and other bills, but the money that’s left over goes back into supporting our work – which is to bring healthy local food to more children and support local businesses.

Work With Us


To review our Privacy Notice for Job Applicants please click here. This explains how your personal data is collected and processed when you apply for roles at Local Food Links.

LFL Application Form June 19



Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community

Sustainable Palm Oil Policy
Local Food Links are proud to be a champion to the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community. Sustainable palm oil (SPO) should be the norm, and by signing up, we are telling our suppliers that we only want sustainable.


Local Food Links support the use of sustainably sourced ingredients including the use of sustainably sourced palm oil and palm derivatives.  When we use palm oil, we commit to using sustainably sourced palm oil or palm derivatives.  There are a number of supply chain options to demonstrate the use of 100% sustainable palm oil and therefore compliance, which are approved by the RSPO.  We are therefore committed to asking for and purchasing ingredients with sustainable palm oil only.  We know that by doing this we are helping to support livelihoods, flight climate change and protect wildlife around the world from the impact of unsustainable agricultural practices.

Local Food Links has become a Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Champion and has audited all suppliers to check that only sustainable palm oil products are being used.


29 April 2022


Local Food Links was established in 1999 by the West Dorset Food and Land Trust, a registered charity and local community organisation, to run Farmer’s Markets and other food initiatives. These initiatives included Bridport Food Festival, the Grow It, Cook It, Eat It Project, cookery workshops and an NVQ training in Catering for young people.

We also set up a hot meals service for schools and nurseries operating from the kitchen of our established Centre for Local Food. This was a major evolution in school meal catering, which today is dominated by industrial scale contract caterers that supply schools across the UK.

Local Food Links today

Local Food Links now focuses on our school meals service. Our kitchens in Bridport, Blandford and Weymouth provide freshly prepared meals daily to over 50 schools and nurseries.