Suffolk: School dinners are back on the menu

MORE young people in the county are turning away from packed lunches and back to school dinners, figures reveal.

Around 26,000 children in Suffolk currently have school dinners – an increase of almost 2,000 since last year.

The figures follow a national trend, which has seen an extra 167,000 pupils take up the meals in the last school year – meaning more than three million children in England are now eating school dinners.

Primary school meals have seen a rise of seven per cent, with around 1,375 extra meals being served every day – added to the 18,000 already served daily to young diners.

Secondary schools in Suffolk have seen an average 6pc increase – with some schools achieving increases of up to 30pc since the introduction of new menus, additional service points and dining room makeovers.

Many of the changes that have driven students back to school dinners have been introduced since the launch of Eats Catering.

Eats Catering previously operated as Suffolk County Catering and is now part of Ipswich-based Eastern Facilities Management Solutions, which is owned by Suffolk County Council.

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Eats runs catering services in about 97pc of Suffolk schools and has introduced new recipes and more local produce to the school menu.

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