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New meal menu in primary schools

Cardiff is marking National School Meals Week 2023 with the launch of a new primary school meal menu from today (Monday 6 November).

National School Meals Week is a nationwide campaign from LACA – The School Food People, which aims to highlight the benefits of quality school meals on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

The campaign also highlights the value of school meals, particularly for families who may be experiencing challenges caused by the cost-of-living crisis and rising food costs. You can read more here: National School Meals Week – National School Meals Week (lacansmw.co.uk)

This year, the week-long campaign aims to encourage children who haven’t tried meals in a while to give them a go, or for existing customers to sample new dishes.

Cardiff’s new primary school meal menu has been developed to offer ten new dishes alongside pupils’ favourites. Improvements to the menu include using Welsh products such as bread, sausages and yoghurts, helping to support the Welsh economy and promoting sustainability.

Two portions of vegetables will continue to be offered with each meal as part of Cardiff Council’s continuing commitment to the ‘Peas Please veg pledge’, which is above the minimum standard from Healthy Eating in Schools (Nutritional Standards and Requirements Wales 2013), all fish products are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the number of plant-based options across main courses and desserts have been expanded.

Cardiff Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for education, Sarah Merry, said: “We know that providing healthy and nutritious school meals has a positive impact on learners and National School Meals week helps to highlight this. Our school catering teams work hard to develop a varied and inclusive menu for children to enjoy, meeting the requirements set by Welsh Government. In addition, with the use of Welsh, British and certified products, families can be reassured that opting for school meals provides a range of positive benefits.”

The Universal Free School Meals scheme for primary aged children is provided to all pupils from Reception to Year 3. Council teams continue to work hard to increase catering capacity and put provision in place so that free school meals can be rolled out to the remaining primary year groups against the target dates, as soon as schools are able to do so.

In addition to Universal Free School Meals for primary-aged children, families who receive benefits and with children of all ages, must continue to register for a free school meal. Details can be found here: Free School Meals (cardiff.gov.uk)

They may also be entitled to other grants which can help to buy school uniform and other school essentials. Registering for available support may also mean a child’s school can access additional funding which can be spent on supporting learning.

If you are a family with children who are not currently receiving Free School Meals and your circumstances have changed this year, Cardiff Council might have support available for you. To check if you are eligible for Free School Meals (eFSM) and School Essentials Grant (SEG) which includes support for uniform, sports equipment and devices, visit Free School Meals (cardiff.gov.uk)

You can also call the advice line on 029 2087 1071 or visit one of the Hubs, including Rhiwbina, Whitchurch, Llanishen, Rhydypenau, and Llandaff North & Gabalfa .

Cardiff Council currently has a range of support for people struggling with cost-of-living pressures. This includes help with obtaining food, advice on winter fuel bills, help with rent arrears and much more. We encourage anyone experiencing difficulties at the moment to get in touch with the money advice team on 029 2087 1071, email advicehub@cardiff.gov.uk, pop into any Hub or visit www.cardiff.gov.uk/costofliving

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