There’ll be no last minute UIFSM panic buying from primary schools in Plymouth after council officials confirmed they have bought all the catering equipment they need to serve free meals from next week.
School caterers in the city will deliver an extra 11,500 meals a day when the government scheme comes into force next week.
The initiative has led many schools in the Devon city to invest in new cooking equipment, freezers and other commercial kitchen items.
Kitchen installation work is ongoing at 10 schools but council chiefs insist that everything will be completed in time for the new term.
Brad Pearce, Plymouth Council’s education catering manager, told The Herald that the kitchen refurbishment work capped a sustained period of investment into local school catering facilities.
“Since 2006/07 we have built 20 brand new production kitchens, ended transported food and refurbished all other existing school kitchens,” he revealed.
“As a result of this investment all schools in Plymouth will be ready to deliver UIFSM for the new term. Additional equipment such as combination ovens, freezers and food prep machines has been purchased.
"With refurbishment and minor building work currently taking place in 10 schools, all are on track to be completed for the new term.”