Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People, Councillor Patricia Stallard said: “We’re very proud of the high standard of school meals that our catering service (HC3S) provides - using good quality British produce. A healthy lunch at school contributes significantly to a child’s wellbeing and their capacity to learn, through to the end of the school day.”
The 10 pence increase is being introduced to meet the rising cost of providing school meals, and takes the price per meal to £2.50. This continues to represent good value for money for a two course, freshly cooked school meal.
She continued: “I am keen that school meals remain affordable, but we must balance this against the increasing cost of providing those meals. Mainly this comes from the ever-increasing cost of ingredients. In addition, HC3S is actively supporting the County Council’s climate change programme and whilst changes such as sourcing alternatives to single-use plastic are projected to incur slightly higher costs, it is certainly the right thing to do in a climate emergency.”
Around 12 million healthy school meals were served in Hampshire’s primary and secondary schools last year. All HC3S school meals meet the Department for Education’s rules for healthy school dinners and HC3S has worked with schools, pupils and parents for over 30 years, to create menus that are varied and follow the guiding principles of healthy eating.
Menus also adhere to the Hyperactive Children's Support Group's recommendations to remove over 70 additives and colourings that could affect children's behaviour.
The decision to increase the school meal price was taken at the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People Decision Day (16 September 2020). Read the School Meals Decision Report online at hants.gov.uk/councilmeetings.