A disused kitchen at Six Acres Resource Centre has been transformed in order to provide more Somerset primary schools with hot free school meals.
The existing kitchen at the Six Acres site was unused. Following an extensive refurbishment, the kitchen will be ready to dish up 500 meals after half term.
New laws that came into place in September saw all children under seven in primary schools across the county benefiting from free school lunches. Somerset County Council had to provide an additional 15,000 meals a day to meet the new legislation.
Since September, 81 per cent of children in Somerset have been receiving free hot school meals. The Council is developing a number of production kitchens across the county to ensure that hot meals are available to all schools by the end of the Autumn term.
The kitchen at the Six Acres site is just one of eight new kitchens that Somerset County Council is building to ensure free hot school meals are available for all schools in Somerset. The authority is also creating a kitchen at the former St Augustine’s site to create up to a further 3000 meals for Somerset schools which will be operational in December.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, commented, “A healthy balanced diet is really important for a child’s development. I am very pleased that the County Council and schools worked together to make sure that free school meals, meeting the required nutritional standards, were available to all Reception, Year One and Year Two pupils at the beginning of term, with the majority of the children being offered hot meals. I am thrilled that schools will soon be able to provide all the children with the option of a hot lunch thanks to our investment in new kitchens.”