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Merton school to stick with Feed Me Better pilot scheme

24 November 2005
Merton school to stick with Feed Me Better pilot scheme

Initial Catering has abandoned plans to withdraw its Jamie Oliver-inspired menu from a south London primary school.

The caterer was planning to pull the new menus after a group of parents complained that the food was too spicy at the Priory School in Merton, one of six primaries in the borough where the Feed Me Better food is being piloted.

The move was blocked by Dave Hill, director of children, schools and families at Merton council, who intervened to ensure the new menus remained in place.

But a spokesman for Merton Parents group claimed the caterer, which subsidises the pilot scheme, may have wanted to pull the new menus for financial reasons.

In a letter to Hill, a spokesman for the group said: "The withdrawal smacks of Initial looking at profit margins rather than quality provision."

Hill replied: "Priory school had a plan to withdraw but I have negotiated for the Feed Me Better menus to be retained. There is no plan to withdraw the menu from the other five primary schools in the pilot."

A spokeswoman for Initial said: "The headmaster changed his mind. He decided that it would be better to negotiate with us on the menus."

She also refuted suggestions that Initial was planning to pull the Feed Me Better menus from all six schools in the future.

By Tom Bill

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