Kitchen projects see meal uptake increase
THE number of North Somerset children eating school meals has increased since millions-of-pounds were spent on installing new kitchens or refurbishing existing facilities.
North Somerset Council has been carrying out a programme of kitchen building and refurbishment after it was awarded a Government grant of just under �2million in 2008/09, which had to be spent within three years.
The projects have ranged from a few hundreds pounds being spent to replace crockery and service equipment to tens-of-thousands spent on brand new facilities.
At Walliscote and Milton Park primaries in Weston the kitchens were upgraded and at Worlebury and Bournville primaries also in Weston the kitchens have been installed as part of a new-build.
At Sandford Primary School a kitchen was squeezed into a very small space and something similar is currently being installed at Wrington Primary School.
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Weston’s School of Alternative and Inclusive Learning in Oldmixon Crescent has a kitchen and eating facility for the first time and The Larch Centre pupil referral unit in Baytree Road now has a life-skils kitchen which is used to teach pupils how to cook.
The council’s commissioning and contracts manager Lynda Mitchell said: “Part of the aim of this funding was to increase meal numbers and where we have put in new facilities and improvee the quality of production in other places, meal numbers have increased.
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“Schools meals have to meet nutrition and food standards and research has demonstrated few lunch boxes meet the same requirements.”
North Somerset Council serves about 8,300 meals every day totalling up to 1.5million every year.