Moray Council say that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of pupils who are now taking school dinners.
Over half of all primary school pupils now take their lunch on the premises – thought to be the first time ever that the majority of pupils have taken up school meals.
Figures for the year to April show uptake at 50.9%, a 14% increase on the figure eight years earlier. In total the regions 45 primary schools prepare around 6500 meals each week with the bulk of ingredients sourced locally.
“Maintaining a year-on-year increase has been a tremendous achievement,” Councillor John Cowe, chair of the economic development and infrastructure committee, said. He added: “It is testament to the way that the council’s catering staff have promoted the benefits of children getting a wholesome meal in the middle of the day.
“As far as we know this is the first time that uptake has topped the 50% mark and I am delighted that so many parents also appreciate the benefits to their children of school meals which are not only nutritious and healthy but also very good value for money.”
Throughout Scotland school meal uptake for primary schools showed a marked increase in 2011 when they rose from 72,791 to 82,772 – but there was a slight fall by 2013 with the figure standing at 81,364 pupils.
In percentage terms the national average of pupils taking meals at primary schools was 49.5% in 2013.