School dinners Sheffield: 94 schools and nurseries will charge more for dinners in new term
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The price of lunch at all maintained schools operated by the city council and fed by caterers Taylor Shaw will go up by around 15 per cent when term starts again in September.
It comes as a leading Sheffield food bank says the number of referrals in July were up 17 per cent from what they saw at Christmas time, and are expecting more pressure heading into the winter months.
The new cost of school dinners per child per meal:
- Nursery school meal prices will rise from £1.75 to £2.00 - an increase of 14 per cent
- Primary school meal prices will rise from £2.00 to £2.30 - an increase of 15 per cent
- Secondary school meal prices will rise from £2.24 to £2.54 - an increase of 13 per cent
The increases listed are only at maintained schools, as academies operate their own catering contracts.
It comes as food price inflation has reportedly slowed to its lowest levels this year - but overall, shop prices were still 7.6 per cent higher in July than they were a year ago.
It means that prices are still up year on year on practically every supermarket shelf, even if the price of some stable goods is starting to come down. For example, four pints of milk cost £1.50 in July, compared to £1.69 in March.
Chris Hardy, manager at the Sheffield S6 Foodbank, says the increases at supermarkets are affecting families on the breadline the hardest and called the new school dinners prices "another nail in the coffin".
"Every increase, whether it’s a penny or 50p, has a knock on down the line on people’s cost of living, especially to people who are budgeting and as we are heading into what will be another difficult winter.
"More and more families with children of school age are being referred to food banks.
"Several schools and their teachers in Sheffield are making sure there’s a breakfast for their pupils when they come in and are paying for it out of their own pocket. We all want to see children thrive and be the best they can be in life and they can’t do that if they can’t think straight for not having food.
"It’s every parent’s nightmare not being able to feed their children, and parents are already going without to make sure their kids eat. Even a 25p increase in school dinner prices is going to have an impact."