SCHOOL kitchens are to be closed after pupils faced ‘small portions’ of ‘frozen food’ as their lunch meals.

A Holywell school has blasted school meals, by NEWydd Catering company, as neither ‘value for money’ nor a ‘balanced meal’.

Ysgol Bro Carmel is just one of 22 school kitchens to be closed after pupils were given frozen meals instead of freshy prepared, balanced food.

In a letter sent to parents, shown to the Leader, the school said: “In 2017, NEWydd catering services took over the provision of school meals in our school.

"Until recent times, we have always been proud of the high quality food that Debbie our school cook prepares for the children.

Since returning in September, the food that the children receive does not require cooking – it is all frozen. In addition, the portion size is very small.

“We now know that NEWydd intend to close our school kitchen along with 22 other schools.

“As you can image I am very unhappy about this prospect, Children having a freshly prepared meal at midday, which is nutritionally balanced is very important.

“Paying £2.25 for a sausage roll, bottle of water and piece of fruit is not value for money, nor is it a balanced mean.

“Other schools are receiving a far better menu and yet the price is the same.”

The school is encouraging parents to share their personal views with the company at

Parents have reacted with outrage at their children being ‘charged for junk frozen food’.

One parent described the situation as a ‘disgrace’ and many pupils had taken to taking their own packed lunches in due to the ‘poor quality’.

They expressed concerns over kitchen staff losing their jobs so a ‘company could make a profit off the backs of children’.

Another parent added: “As parents we don't want our child to have a smaller portion frozen or warmed up meal for their lunch especially when the weather changes."

Steve Jones, Managing Director of NEWydd Catering and Cleaning said the temporary menus are being reviewed.

He added: “There are two very separate issues currently being addressed by the School Meal service, these being the current Interim Menu and the NEWydd Modernisation Programme.

“In common with many school catering providers across Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom we are currently having to offer a reduced menu for an interim period due to Covid-19 restrictions. We do recognise that these interim arrangements are not ideal as they do not allow us to offer our usual range of healthy and varied meals. However, the current temporary menus are being reviewed and we will be offering a revised temporary menu, with a wider range of meal options, to all Primary Schools from Monday, 28 September.

“As part of longer-term plans to modernise our business and separate to the need to provide a temporary menu during Covid-19 restrictions, we are looking to change the way we deliver services in some schools. These changes are needed to ensure that when we can return to providing our normal menu we are in a position to provide the consistent, high quality, nutritionally balanced standard we pride ourselves on delivering. These changes will not result in school kitchens closing and our meals will continue to be served to pupils by members of the NEWydd workforce based in school kitchens. We will be inviting representatives of schools affected by these changes to a Webinar next week to discuss our plans in more detail and ensure our proposals are clearly explained and understood.”