Uptake for Southwark's free healthy school meals programme continues to rise
Published 29 February 2012
The vast majority of reception and year one pupils in Southwark are taking advantage of the council's pioneering free health healthy school meals (FHSM) programme, it was revealed today.
Nearly 90 per cent of these pupils are tucking into healthy lunches following the scheme's roll out in September.
The scheme is expected to save a typical family with two children at primary school £700 a year.
Figures show that 87 per cent of reception and year one pupils are now taking part in the programme - an increase of 2.5 per cent since the pilot.
The programme was piloted last academic year and rolled out to Reception and Year 1 in all Southwark primary schools. From September this year it will be extended to all pupils in years two to four and then years five and six in 2013.
Southwark Council is bringing in FHSM, to help tackle the high levels of childhood obesity and help families in difficult financial circumstances.
The latest results will be presented to the council's education's and children's services scrutiny subcommittee meeting next week.
Catherine McDonald, cabinet member for children's services said: "Southwark's free healthy schools meals programme has been extremely well received by parents and pupils alike.
"We are committed to tackling Southwark's very high levels of child obesity and putting money back in parents' pockets at the time they need it most.
"Parents tell me the programme is already changing pupils' eating habits for the better and is helping hard pressed families save many hundreds of pounds a year."