School Meals Service

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The School Meals Catering Service will deliver a high quality, good value, lunchtime meals service to children and young people which supports families in providing their children with a healthy and balanced diet.

The choice of meals and snacks on offer each day will meet all necessary food legislative requirements including those relating to the type, style, mix and frequency of food included on the menu and those that ensure that children and young people receive the right balance of nutrients to develop and grow.

The service is committed to using quality products, and ensures that the menu choices on offer are high in fibre, and low in fat, salt and sugar. Menus and recipes will offer a variety of colour, texture and appearance and take account of seasonal availability of ingredients.

The service is managed and delivered on behalf of schools by experienced and skilled staff who have received all necessary training including the following:

• Food safety training certified by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH, Level 2)
• Health and safety training
• Children and young people's services directorate safeguarding training.

In addition we are able to respond to specific requests relating to medically certified special dietary requirements (e.g. nut allergies) and religious preferences.

Analysis of menus to ensure that we offer nutritionally balanced, healthy meals is undertaken on a regular basis. More information on this and our response to meeting special dietary requirements is available from Susan Stephens, School Meals Catering Officer, on 01925 443081.

The service is committed to delivering a value for money service which does not rely on any additional financial subsidy from schools. To this aim, in 2011 and 2012, the service has been the subject of a significant redesign to improve efficiency. Costs can now be contained within the financial resources available: for free school meals; from sale of meals and snacks; and the equivalent of that provided as School Lunch Grant with no requirement for any additional subsidy.

A sustainable service will be achieved by maximising the take-up of free and paid school meals, appropriate pricing of meals and snacks and constant monitoring of staffing requirements to ensure that staffing levels are in line with service needs.

A further key element of the drive to improve and sustain efficiency is modernisation of the service through the introduction of technology. This will enable managers and kitchen staff to have access to timely information on productivity and sales. Prompt action can then be taken, for example, to address a drop in sales through targeted promotional activity.

The aim is to establish an effective, efficient and sustainable Warrington School Meals Catering Service in order that the council can continue to be the first choice provider of all Warrington primary and special schools for the foreseeable future.
In this way we can continue to make an important and positive contribution to the health and well being of Warrington's children and young people

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