Battlesteads pub in Northumberland has started providing meals for children at a nearby school after the school was forced to close its kitchen due to funding cuts.
Wark First School in Wark near Hexham had to make its part-time cook redundant after budget cuts imposed by the local education authority.
Head teacher Amanda Lewis was forced to find an alternative solution and now Battlesteads is providing meals for the 30 children at the school every day.
Richard Slade, who owns and runs Battlesteads, said: "Everyone wins in this situation. We can make use of our kitchen at what would usually be a down time. The school has a solution to its problem. The children get lunches that are full of flavour and variety and are made from seasonal produce, much of which is home grown. The parents have peace of mind that their children are being fed well, and local suppliers are gaining business as our menus include locally sold produce."
The menus are agreed in advance and run on a four-weekly rotation. The service is paid for by the parents and is operated on a non-profit-making basis.
Wark First School head teacher Amanda Lewis added: "The incredible take-up from the children and the empty plates speak for the success of the service already. We've met all the health and safety and food hygiene regulations and everyone is happy - especially the teachers and classroom assistants who most definitely appreciate the quality of the food!"
By Neil Gerrard
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