When Swansea Labour won the last council elections in 2017, they ensured that one of their main priorities was education across the city.
And with that in mind the labour-controlled council has decided the price of school meals is to be frozen in Swansea for the next academic year. It means families choosing to use the service from September will continue to pay £2.40 a day.
In a usual year school catering teams serve around 13,000 cooked meals every day in Swansea’s primary and secondary schools.
They have worked hard to maintain the service where possible throughout the pandemic often responding at short notice to changing circumstances.
Labour Cllr Robert Smith, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: “Despite significant cost pressures on this service I’m very pleased that the council has frozen the price of school meals until September 2022 in recognition that many families are struggling because of coronavirus.
“This means that school meals remain good value for money as throughout the pandemic the catering teams have continued to use local fresh produce and encourage healthy eating where possible.
“Our school catering staff have done a tremendous job in the last year in often challenging circumstances.
“They have had to operate within changing guidance to keep our schools as safe as they possibly can be in the face of the virus.
“Staff responded immediately after the first lockdown to ensure children and young people did not go hungry as a result of schools being closed and I know many have been putting in extra hours as part of the increased cleaning regimes in their schools to help keep pupils and teaching staff safe.”
During the pandemic the number of families who registered for free school schools has increased.
Cllr Smith added: “Parents or carers in receipt of a number of benefit payments are eligible and I would encourage those that think they might qualify to visit the website www.swansea.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to check. Those without access to the internet can phone the council on 01792 635353.
“Most schools in Swansea operate a safe and secure cashless payment system making the process as seamless as possible.
“It’s really important for their education that children get a nutritious, satisfying lunch to help them re-charge their batteries and to be at their best for afternoon lessons.”