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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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New free school dinners are going down a treat with South Cumbria pupils

INFANT pupils across Furness are enjoying tucking into their new free hot school dinners.

All four to seven-year-olds are now entitled to a free hot meal at lunchtime.

Headteachers welcomed their pupils receiving a hot and nutritious meal free of charge, but the tight timeframe has been very challenging for schools without kitchens to be ready on time.

While some schools in the county have had kitchens built most have made arrangement for meals to be prepared off site and brought in.

South Walney Infant and Nursery School gets its meals provided by the catering team at Walney School. The secondary school also provides the plates, cutlery and cups and takes all the crockery away again to clean.

South Walney had a few trial runs at the end of last term and now it is doing it for real. At the moment it is providing meals for 127 pupils, but when the Reception class starts full time it will be for 140 children.

The island infant school invited the Evening Mail in to see how the arrangement is going and what the children make of their meals.

We were visiting on Thankful Thursday – roast dinner day.

On the menu was roast beef, mash potato, Yorkshire pudding, mixed vegetables and bread. This was followed by fruit cookie and milk.

The school has purposely opted to use plates and bowls over trays as dinner is now a more social event.

Micah Thorne, six, gave the Walney School meals the thumbs up back when the school was sampling tasters. Micah said: “It’s really good having hot dinners. They are so nice. I love Yorkshire pudding and roast. The vegetables are peas, carrots and sweetcorn today.”

Graham Fish, six, said: “Our dinners are nom nom, delicious.

“I like roast dinner. We have fruit cookie for pudding and tomorrow it’s ice cream, yummy.”

Emmie Long, six, said: “They are wonderful dinners. The roast dinner is yummy and you want to try the puddings they are gorgeous.”

Lincoln Harley, six, said: “We have delicious hot dinners and we don’t have to pay for them. I like them better than packed lunch.”

Headteacher Nancy McKinnell praised Walney School as their “salvation” and so supportive. Mrs McKinnell said: “We are finding our feet. We have done much better with the times today.”

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