Education foodservice firm Taylor Shaw has won a multi-million pound, three-year extension of its primary school catering contract in County Durham.
The contract, spanning 215 schools, has been running since 2008, and until 2011 also saw Taylor Shaw support a government-backed initiative to provide all local primary school children with free lunches.
Since the scheme ended, the caterer has helped the Local Authority increase school lunch uptake by 21%, and taken a key role in campaigning for fresh, nutritious school meals.
Jim Lovett, Taylor Shaw managing director, explained that the company planned to build on its existing success by being flexible and continuing to foster strong client links in the area.
He said: "Headteachers appreciate that our service is flexible and that we can tailor it to suit their individual schools. Even after the free meals pilot, we have continued to increase uptake year on year, reaching a peak last year of 63%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 43%."
Taylor Shaw, which catering contracts with schools and colleges across the country, recently supported the government's proposal to introduce free school meals to all young schoolchildren, calling it "great news for families", which could "could boost attainment and help tackle childhood obesity".