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Free school meals for Warwickshire infants from September

Cauliflower and broccoli bake is among the dishes that will be served up for free to four to six-year-old children in Warwickshire.

Cauliflower and broccoli bake is among the dishes that will be served up for free to four to six-year-old children in Warwickshire.

Free school meals will be offered to four to six-year-olds at schools across Warwickshire from the start of the academic year this September.

And the county council, which manages schools catering, says the food the reception, year one and two pupils will be eating will be healthy, locally-sourced where possible, seasonal, from sustainable sources and from farms that have good standards of animal welfare.

Included on the menu - which has achieved a silver catering mark from the Soil Association’s Food for Life project - will be roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, chicken pie, pork loin steak and apple sauce and cauliflower and broccoli bake.

The free school meals are being funded by the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals programme - announced in January - through which £150 million is being given to schools to help them upgrade their kitchens and cope with the increased demand and £2.30 will be spent on each meal.

County councillor Colin Hayfield, responsible for policy on education and learning, said: “Free school meals are a great platform to provide a good habit in eating healthily, understanding more about food and improving learning opportunities.”

Cllr Bob Hicks, chairman of the council’s children and young people overview and scrutiny committee, added: “A healthy lunch for children is shown to help learning and development. I’m delighted that all Warwickshire schools will now be offering free lunches to children in reception, year 1 and year 2, at this critical stage in their development.”

Free school meals will be continued to be offered to older children whose parents or carers fulfil certain criteria. For details about what these are and how to apply, as well as information about where the county council sources its food for school meals, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/schoolmeals

 

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