North Yorkshire County Council is launching a recruitment campaign for school kitchen staff in order to meet the challenge of delivering an additional 1.5 million meals per year in 300 primary schools across the county for the Government’s free school meals initiative.
From September 2014 all primary schools must provide free school meals on request to pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2. Preparation to meet that expectation is well advanced in North Yorkshire but more kitchen staff are needed.
North Yorkshire County Caterers which provides the authority’s school meals service needs to recruit an extra 70 general kitchen assistants to maintain the delivery of high quality meals to every eligible child that requests a school dinner.
Keith Tillbrook, Manager of County Caterers said: We prepare school meals to a very high standard and to help deliver a free meal to every KS1 child in September, we are recruiting additional staff for our kitchens.
The offer of a free school meal is good for parents and children who will be provided with a healthy, nutritional school lunch.
It will also benefit the local economy with most of our meat and poultry supplied by farms in North Yorkshire and we use companies based in Yorkshire to supply our food which will support the creation of jobs across the supply chain.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools. said: The Government’s free school meals initiative will save parents of children in these year groups around £400 per child each year and we are expecting a high take-up of the offer.
All our food is cooked fresh, from scratch, in school kitchens and much of it is locally sourced.
It is important that growing children are served high quality, nutritionally balanced meals and now we need extra staff to help us maintain these stringent standards while meeting the extra demand.
All primary schools will be sending out letters to parents soon to provide more information.
Over 70 vacancies for General Kitchen Assistants have been advertised on www.northyorks.gov.uk