Parents chew on lunch cost rise

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Parents are faced with a rise of almost 20 per cent in the cost of school meals for the start of next term.

After the Easter holidays the price of a primary school meal will increase from £1.70 to £2 and the cost of secondary school meals will go up to £2.10 from £1.80 because of budget cuts.

The cost of producing a school lunch is said by Doncaster Council’s Schools Catering Service to be £2.62 and the last national survey showed Doncaster to have the highest number of primary and secondary pupils taking up school meals in the region – and is one of the highest in England overall.

Cooks are providing a new summer menu and are striving to provide freshly cooked school meals at an affordable price.

The menu ranges from salmon fishcakes with new potatoes to Yorkshire beef casserole followed by muffins or fruit salad.

Doncaster Council’s Assistant Director of Trading and Support Services, Dave Wilkinson, said: “As part of the council’s requirement to make significant savings over the next four years, it is regrettable but necessary that the level at which school meals have previously been subsidised can no longer be maintained.

“However, the actual average production cost of a school meal remains much higher than the prices set and we will continue to work hard to deliver a catering service dedicated to offering every pupil a meal that is healthy and of high quality, whilst offering good value for money.”

Schools Catering Service provide the meals in all but one primary school and approximately half of secondary schools.

It uses local produce to reduce costs and support Doncaster business.

Free school meals may be available for some families - log onto or call 01302 735336.