TASTY meals like turkey curry and roast dinners are said to be behind a massive surge in the uptake of school dinners this year.
Figures from Hampshire County Council Catering Services show 1.1 million meals have been served across the county’s primary schools since September.
This means more than one in three pupils – a total of abour 32,000 a day – are eating a school meal, putting Hampshire’s percentage meal take-up at its highest-ever level.
The nine per cent increase on last year is being attributed to the addition of tasty favourites on the autumn term menu, including roast dinners, turkey curry, pizza, and fish on a Friday.
For vegetarians, choices include sweet potato and lentil curry, vegetable and bean bake and Italian tomato pasta.
Cllr Ken Thornber, leader of the council, said: ‘Not only are Hampshire school meals delicious and bursting with local produce, but since 2005 they are also free from over 70 artificial colours and preservatives.
‘At a price of £2 for a third consecutive year, our quality meals represent good value for money and this combination is gaining increasing support from families across Hampshire.’
Hampshire school meals are made from ingredients sourced from around 26 local suppliers, including locally grown fruit and vegetables, pork and beef from Hampshire farms, free range eggs from the New Forest and apple juice from Selborne.