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School Meals

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Department is taking to ensure the provision of high quality hot meals in schools. (227961)

The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the School Food Trust have a wide programme to ensure the provision of high quality hot meals in schools. New food-based nutritional standards were introduced in September 2006 for school lunches and from September 2007 for other school food. Nutrient-based standards were introduced for school lunches in September 2008 for primary schools and from September 2009 for secondary and special schools.

We are investing over £650 million between 2005 and 2011 to help improve school food and keep school lunch prices down. This includes £220 million over the three years 2005-06 to 2007-08 to assist authorities and schools in improving school lunches and other school food; £240 million between 2008 and 2011 to support the costs of school lunches; £150 million capital funding to build and refurbish kitchen and dining facilities; and funding to establish FEAST centres to train catering staff. We are also providing an extra £6 million over the next three years for the School Food Trust to promote healthy food to young people and raise take-up.