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Rising costs could mean smaller lunches for Wrexham pupils

Published date: 10 January 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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Rising food costs could mean smaller lunches for schoolchildren.

Wrexham Council is being forced to tighten up spending on school meals as it faces a predicted £270,000 shortfall.

Higher food costs and an increase in the number of parents providing their children with packed lunches have resulted in the overspend on school catering.

To plug the deficit the council is now planning to make savings in school kitchens across the county borough.

Portion sizes are just one of the areas earmarked for “efficiencies” along with staff hours, food supply orders and stock/waste control.

The local authority is also planning to promote the school catering service to increase income.

The figures were revealed in a copy of the authority’s latest budget monitoring and control report.

The report, written by head of finance Mark Owen, says: “Income from pupils paying for school meals has reduced by £170,000, which is a reflection of the current economic climate where some are choosing the cheaper option of packed lunches.”

About £100,000 of the overspend went on food itself which, Mr Owen said, was partly due to rising costs.

Steve Bayley, head of assets and economic development, said: “The projected overspend in school catering relates to two main factors: increases in the cost of raw materials and a reduction in the expected income from school meals.

“The efficiencies referred to in the report relate to the need to tighten up on the amount spent on food supplies, reduce waste and match staff hours to the service needs.

“The priority of the service must, however, always be to provide pupils with healthy and nutritional meal choices.”

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  1. Posted by: cynprifathro at 12:42 on 10 January 2013 Report

    Jamie Oliver killed school meals!

  2. Posted by: Klingpin at 20:57 on 10 January 2013 Report

    Might be a good idea for most of them, far to many little fat kids running around the school yards these days, on another note the amount per head schools receive to feed a child is nowhere the amount that is given to feed a prisoner per day, something totally wrong somewhere, lets start by giving the prisoners basic rations to save money.

  3. Posted by: Y Ffin at 21:45 on 10 January 2013 Report

    The increasing number of kids eating packed lunches, probably full of e-numbers, salt and saturated fats is probably one of the most important factors behind the poor exam statistics in local schools. You only have to look at the litter around schools to work out the packed lunch diet: crisps, fizzy so-called energy drinks, plastic cheese and generally mass processed cr*p!

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