School dinners affected by supply issues as off-menu hot meals for students

School dinners are affected by supply issues, preventing some schools from offering hot meals.

School catering company Dolce has warned parents that “the supply chain of the school catering industry is under great pressure, as is the availability of qualified staff to cover Covid absences and recruit to fill the positions. vacant “.

While doing everything it can to avoid disruption, the company told families it was sometimes unavoidable and menus had to be cut back or replaced with packed lunches.

Read more: Rising Covid cases prompt mass PCR testing at school where teachers are on strike

And it’s not just the food supply that seems to be a problem.

At Great Academy Ashton, Tameside, only sandwiches have been offered since the start of the school year due to a delay in obtaining catering equipment.

A text message sent to parents at the beginning of September read: “Due to a delay in the arrival of our new catering equipment, we can only serve sandwiches and cold refreshments. We will notify you when the hot meal service begins. “

A mother told the Manchester Evening News: “Supplies are causing serious problems at school, not just with food. They haven’t offered hot meals in ages. My son doesn’t eat sandwiches, so he comes home hungry because he doesn’t eat between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“I prepare packed lunches but since it’s colder, they have to bring the hot dishes back.”

Hot dishes are not on the menu in some schools

The parent of one child from Hazel Grove Primary, who sent the message to parents at Dolce Caterers, said: “They seem to have a lot more vegetarian products in place of what the kids are saying, but we haven’t had other school update for now. “

It comes as parents at All Saints Elementary School in Heaton Norris have been told that lunch will be limited to sandwiches for the next two days as the “lunch supplier cannot send us a cook” and the schools in the Lancashire also saw their menus decrease until at least the October semester.

Students are given either a soup and a choice of sandwich with sides and a salad bar or baked potatoes with a variety of toppings and a salad bar.

A parent who works in school catering told us he had “a lot of supply issues” – with peas, Cheerios, bite-sized grated wheat, Quorn’s mince, spring water, paninis and gluten-free items, just a few of the items they have a hard time getting hold of.

“For now, we are still providing hot meals,” he said. “As part of a large school catering school, we have to buy from a national food supplier.

“As a caterer in a private school, I had to do several groceries in the supermarkets to fill in the gaps. We are in a better position than the public schools because I have a small cash register.”

MEN has contacted Great Academy Ashton for comment.

Does your child’s school struggle to provide hot meals or does it operate with a reduced menu? Let us know in the comments here.

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