Local Food Links celebrates 10 years of school meals in Blandford
School meals provider and social enterprise, Local Food Links (LFL), is delighted to be celebrating its Blandford kitchen’s 10th birthday and proud to have served up 1.5 million freshly prepared school meals to local schools over the past decade.
Kitchen Manager, Jayne Fry, and Cook, Tracy Dawson are also celebrating their 10 year work anniversary having led the kitchen from the beginning, when they served 400 meals/day to 8 schools. Since then the demand for school meals in North Dorset has increased so much that a neighbouring mini hub was opened in Shillingstone in 2014 to enable new schools to work with LFL. Now the Blandford kitchen supplies 11 schools approximately 850 meals/day.
Jayne Fry, Kitchen Manager said:
“It has been fantastic to have been here since the start and to have been involved in setting up a brand new kitchen. We have seen lots of changes over the years with new schools joining us along the way. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of universal infant free school meals, which almost doubled our numbers overnight. We have enjoyed working with our schools and the friendships and great working relationships we have made along the way. The hard work of the whole Blandford team has been critical to our success – without them the last 10 years would not have been possible. A huge thank you to all our schools for their continued support.”
Susan Whitlock, Headteacher at Downlands School recalls:
“Over ten years ago the Blandford Head were looking for a provider for hot school meals and I was part of the team that visited providers. It was apparent to all of us that Local Food Links was a clear winner from both the quality of the food and the feedback we received from the children we spoke to.”
She went on to say:
“At Downlands School we have a very high take up of universal infant free school meals and a good proportion of Key stage 2 pupils purchasing meals too meaning that we are often serving 180 meals a day. Local Food Links are consistently providing high quality meals with a wide range of options that enable all tastes and dietary requirements to be catered for. For some children Local Food Links has revolutionised the way that meals are perceived and has introduced a variety of healthy food to their diet.”