North Yorkshire County Council has decided to freeze the price of primary school meals in order to help hard-pressed families, while continuing to improve the quality of dinners served to children.
Although the county council is facing very severe financial challenges, the price of meals will be frozen at £2.10 per day. This means that prices have increased in the last 3 year period by only 5%, despite a time of much higher food inflation.
The sibling discount arrangement however which the council was allowed to introduce is to cease at the end of July 2011. Permission for this discount was given for 3 years by the government, at a time of increased costs to the catering service. This helped to alleviate the financial burden for families with more than one child when the price of meals had risen ahead of inflation to meet the rising costs of providing the service in 2008.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said: “We are only too aware of the financial pressures families are under at the present time and despite the county council’s economic challenges which require millions of pounds worth of savings to be found, members are determined that school meals should be affordable and offer good value for money, so that all children have the opportunity to have a nutritious meal in the middle of the day
“Good nutrition is essential to children’s health and well being and their ability to make the most of their learning. We are proud of our drive to deliver high quality meals to North Yorkshire’s children, which is why, despite the freeze on the price of a meal, we continue to drive quality upwards and improve the standards of the produce used.”
- Only fresh meat and poultry is used in school dinners, all of it sourced in Yorkshire.
- Half of all fruit and vegetables are also sourced from the north of England with plans to increase the percentage in coming years
- Most of the seasonal salad requirements are met by growers in the Humberside region.
- All eggs are free range and produced in Yorkshire. North Yorkshire County Caterers has been awarded a “Good Egg Award” for its free range policy from the animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming
- The great majority of cheese is sourced from Lancashire made with local milk.