ISS retains kitchen contract for 50 London schools after £2 meal success

School meals

ISS has retained a multimillion pound catering contract to provide school lunches to 50 schools in the London Borough of Redbridge for a further six years.

The caterers have been working with Redbridge Council to develop a high quality lunch service for schools in the borough since 2009. The new agreement will commence on 1 August 2016 and will continue to 31 July 2022.

Over the past seven years, ISS and Redbridge Council have evolved the school meals service into one which is healthy, sustainable and affordable. During this period, school meal uptake has increased from 36% to 69%, and continues to rise. The ISS team in Redbridge currently provide around 3.3 million school meals every year.

The service has been accredited with the Soil Association’s Food for Life Silver Catering Mark, meaning that the food on the menus is freshly prepared from scratch each day using a selection of sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.

For £2 per day, pupils in Redbridge can choose from either two or three main meal choices, two vegetable accompaniments and a choice of a hot dessert, piece of fresh fruit or organic yoghurt. Diners also have full and unlimited access to salad bars, which contain a variety of fresh vegetables.

To continue to enhance and evolve the school lunch service in Redbridge, ISS has invested in a ten person strong local team which includes a food ambassador, whose role it is to provide pupils, parents and teachers with fun and interactive learning sessions centred around food.

Councillor Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Primary school meals have cost £2 since 2012 and when we renewed this contract we were determined to not only ensure the best quality but also the best value for money. We want to make sure that families of different incomes have the opportunity to afford a quality school meal and we are very pleased to announce this price freeze.

“By the end of this contract the cost of primary school meals in Redbridge would have stayed at £2 for 10 years.  Of course those children that are eligible for free school meals will continue to get their meals for free.”

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