Compass-owned Scolarest has won a major school meals deal for East Sussex, which is valued at £20m over the contract term.
From August, Scolarest will caterer for 163 primary and 14 secondary schools in the southern England county, providing more fresh fruit, vegetables and milk at lunchtime than previously available.
Parents of primary and secondary school children will be asked to pay 10p more for meals (£1.75) to fund the deal.
East Sussex Council said the increase in price would allow the delivery of a menu that not only meets the current food based standards but also the more exacting nutrient-based standards that are set to be introduced in 2008 in primary schools.
East Sussex councilor Rupert Simmons said: "We are asking parents to pay a bit more, but we are also making it clear that they will be paying for an improved product."
Scolarest recently pulled out of its Bedfordshire and Richmond, London, school meals contracts citing a failure to agree commercial terms with the respective local authorities.
By Chris Druce