As you will know, CATERed, the school lunch provider at your child’s school is a cooperative trading company owned by the schools (your child’s school) and the council. CATERed was set up in 2015 to ensure that all schools (as shareholders) could provide great tasting school dinners and also to ensure that budgets for school food were spent on school food without impacting on others areas of school funding. Over 80% of our meals are cooked from scratch each and every day in your schools’ own production kitchen using locally sourced, seasonal and fresh ingredients.
You may well have recently seen a press article about a price increase that the CATERed Board have had to introduce from the start of the Autumn Term in September 2018.
The new price for a hot, two-course school meal will be £2.20. This means just a 10 pence increase (less than five per cent) or an additional 50 pence per week for those families who pay for the school lunches with effect from Monday 03 September 2018.
The future increase is as a result of continuing rises in food and ingredient prices that we will have all experienced in our household shopping baskets, and which look set to continue, as well as an increase to our wage bill for our 274 staff who prepare around 12,000 meals every day to make sure young people get the fuel they need to perform well at school.
Whilst we understand that any increase in costs hits the disposable income of families, this is something that the Board have been working hard to avoid up to this point. School meal prices in Plymouth will remain amongst the lowest in the South-west (including Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset) continuing the CATERed ethos of providing excellent value for money for local families.
We hope that those families who pay for their child’s school lunch will understand and continue to support the service that we know offers fantastic choice, great value for money and helps young people be ready to learn.
Students may be entitled to a free school meal based on household income. If you think you may be entitled to a free school meal talk directly to your school or visit the Plymouth City Council web pages at https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/schoolseducationchildcareskillsandemployability/freeschoolmeals
Registering for free school meals will also help your child’s school with additional funding through the Pupil Premium which will be used to support education and learning.
Thank you for your continued support.
Managing Director on behalf of the CATERed Board