Free school meals rolled out to P4 pupils

Free school meals are now on the menu for all P1 to P4 pupils throughout East Ayrshire, thanks to the Scottish Government’s universal free school meals initiative.

All children from P1 to P4 will be offered a delicious and nutritious two-course meal. The menus run on a three weekly basis, include organic, local and seasonal produce and there are meat-free days each week. Each year, Catering Services consults with parents, children and young people and holds menu development sessions; this ensures that the menus are tailored to the needs and requirements of our children and young people.

All main meals are served with two fresh seasonal vegetables and a piece of fruit and children can choose meals like Cajun chicken pasta, premium pork sausages with creamy mashed potato, ¼ pounder veg burger with potato wedges or macaroni. And there is always homemade soup on offer.

The menus are available on our website and there is detailed information on the nutritional standards that our school meals meet. If your child has food intolerances, your school’s Catering Manager would be happy to speak to you about all the choices that are available.

Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning, Education and Skills and Culture said: “School meals have an important role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of our children and the Council is fully committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s universal free schools meals initiative.

“East Ayrshire was one of the first local authorities in Scotland to trial free school meals back in 2007. We have lots of experience in providing free school meals and the evidence shows that with a greater uptake of schools meals there is a positive impact on the children’s attitudes to food, improved behaviour at meal times and improved concentration in the classroom. We would want all families to encourage their children to take their lunch in school so everyone can benefit. In January next year, free school meals will be extended to P5 children then work will start on the roll out to P6 and P7 pupils for next August.”

The Council’s school meals service is committed to providing freshly prepared nutritious meals, and is the only local authority to have maintained the Soil Association’s Food for Life Accreditation at Gold level since 2008. The Council also continues to use local suppliers wherever and whenever possible. Our main suppliers are We Hae Meat Limited (Girvan), J Pieroni & Sons Ltd (Ayr), A&A Spittal Limited (Auchinleck), Mossgiel Farm (Mauchline), Corrie Main Free Range Limited (Mauchline) and Locavore Community Interest Company (Glasgow).