At Local Food Links we normally steer away from politics and concentrate on our area of expertise, great school food, but given that there has been a lot of discussion in the media about the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to abolish universal infant free school meals and replace them with a free breakfast, we think this is something we should talk to you about.
Over the past 10 years we have worked hard to re-introduce hot school meals in Dorset and now work with 33 schools across the county to supply 2,700+ freshly prepared meals every day that are all compliant with the new school food standards. We see first-hand the benefits these meals have, not only for pupils but also for the whole school community. As well as feeding children, school lunches encourage kids to try new foods, develop positive eating habits and concentrate better in the afternoon, and evidence indicates that when all children receive free school meals it is the poorest children’s academic performance that increases the most.
School meals also provide local employment and support local businesses. Supporting local businesses is really important to us and 87% of our spend is within Dorset.
So we say, ‘Yes, please do offer pupils a free breakfast, but do this in addition to their free school lunch and not instead of.’
And if this is a subject that is close to your heart and you want to find out more, join Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution:
Meanwhile, enjoy half-term and make sure you’ve ordered meals for the first week back by Monday 29th May!