The school meals service in Bolton has been voted one of the top four in the country.
Bolton Council’s school meal catering service was highly commended in the category of Best Improved Performance in Education Catering at the Association for Public Sector Excellence (APSE) awards this month.
The department was praised for the uptake in school meals. In secondary schools more than a third of pupils are tucking into a dinner. Primary school uptake was helped when the council made meals free for new starters last September and a reduced charge of a £1 was introduced this year for both reception and year one pupils.
From January until March, Bolton Council is introducing school meals at a £1 for all primary school pupils to encourage more children to eat healthily and help families struggling in the recession.
The council also scored highly on its menus. A typical menu for the week includes dishes such as roast chicken with sage and onion stuffing and gravy; roasted vegetable pasta; biryani chicken with naan bread; braised beef with onion gravy served with mashed potatoes and locally grown vegetables.
Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “We are really pleased to have been recognised at these national awards. This is a real testament to our school chefs, catering and school staff and officers from the department. We continually consult with our customers on recipes and menus and we’re hoping to see more pupils tucking into a healthy school meal from January.”