Cambridge Catering Services (CCS) claims Jamie Oliver's high-profile school meals campaign has pushed its finances into the red.
A report in today's Cambridge Evening News said the cheeky chappie's diatribe against turkey twizzlers has led to plummeting school meal uptake in the county, with sales down 12% since the original Jamie's School Dinners programme on Channel 4.
Fewer parents paying for school meals and the increased cost of Government efforts to improve children's diets mean the service is now £476,000 in debt.
Cambridge Councillor John Powley told the newspaper: "We can't allow a deficit of the magnitude is to continue. The Council Tax payer will have to subsidise it. That is a very, very serious position and it is unsustainable."
CCS provides food to 198 primary schools and 10 secondary schools, serving up to 78,000 meals a week.
By Chris Druce