Increased appetite for school meals in Leicestershire

School meals School meals are getting more popular across Leicestershire

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There has been an big increase in the number of Leicestershire pupils choosing to eat school meals.

Overall, the number of county children eating school meals rather than packed lunches has increased by 9.5% at primary and 18% at secondary schools.

National figures show a 5.3% primary increase and a 2.3% secondary school increase.

John Ferneley College in Melton Mowbray said demand for school dinners there is up by 32% in the past year.

Lentil curry

"The recipes have changed and it is going really well. We have also opened a salad bar and a deli bar and a jacket potato bar," Jackie Lovett, dinner supervisor at John Fernley College said.

She attributed the increase in uptake to "well-balanced, nutritious and tasty lunch-time meals".

Councillor Ivan Ould said: "We are really delighted with these figures. It is even more encouraging considering the economic situation, as reports have shown that many parents opt for packed lunches rather than school meals in difficult times.

"Eating the right food is so important for our children, increasing their concentration levels and helping them to learn more effectively."

Dishes currently on the menu include: vegetable fajitas, roast turkey stuffing and gravy, potato and lentil curry with desserts such as summer fruit pudding and orange jelly.

The number of pupils eating school dinners has increased as much as 32% in some secondary schools in Leicestershire.

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