The School Food Trust (SFT) and North Somerset Council have joined forces for a new initiative which aims to encourage more than 4,000 school children to try school meals for just £1 a day.
A six-week trial involving 20 local primary schools and the council's school meal caterers Edwards & Ward, will begin when the pupils return from the holidays in January. They will be given the opportunity to sample a nutritious school meal at almost half the normal price.
Chris Wainwright, director of communications for the SFT, said the scheme is aimed at reaching those pupils who have not tried a school meal before, or perhaps only have a meal occasionally.
"We are confident that if children and parents try school meals for six weeks, they will start to see the benefits," he explained.
"For children, having a healthy and varied lunch can make it easier to concentrate in lessons while for parents, school meals can save time spent on creating packed lunches every day. Some parents also tell us that school lunches have helped to make their children less fussy about what they eat."
The SFT is keen to emphasise the nutritional benefits of school meals over packed lunches. Research conducted by the organisation found that on average, school lunches contain less fat, salt and sugar and they are more likely to include fruit, vegetables and healthier drinks.
The same research in primary schools also found that, when children eat a good lunch in a pleasant environment, they are more focused in their lessons after lunch.
Parents interested in taking advantage of the offer should contact their local school. The following schools have been selected to take part:
- Castle Batch Primary
- Herons' Moor Primary
- Hillside First
- Hutton C of E Primary
- St Georges Church Primary
- Trinity Anglican Methodist Primary
- Backwell C of E Junior
- West Leigh Infant
- Windwhistle Primary
- St John the Evangelist C of E Primary
- Corpus Christi Catholic Primary
- Kewstoke Primary
- Locking Primary
- Christ Church C of E Primary
- Bournville Primary
- Walliscote Primary
- Crockerne C of E Primary
- Tickenham C of E Primary
- St Peter's C of E Primary
- Yatton Infant
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By Janie Stamford
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