The percentage of pupils in York opting for a school meal is expected to rise from 40% to 63% this September with the introduction of the national initiative offering free school meals to all Key Stage 1 pupils [Reception, Year 1 and Year 2] pupils.
The scheme was announced by the coalition government a year ago
City of York Council has been working with primary schools and its school meals catering providers to ensure that all the children wanting a hot school meal can get one.
Each school site has been surveyed and the necessary supplies – from cutlery to ovens and fridges – have been ordered, and trial days have been held in some schools to evaluate how best to facilitate the increased demand for school lunches. Adaptations and additional equipment have been funded through a £370,000 grant from the government.
Evidence shows that eating a good meal at lunchtime has important health and educational benefits for children.
The meals can improve their diet, promote healthy eating habits and increase concentration during afternoon lessons.
Parents with children in Key Stage 1 are encouraged to consider taking up the free school meals offer.