Ask the Experts

Pat Fellows

What is the single biggest challenge school meal providers are facing today?

The biggest challenge faced today is whether the government is going to continue providing free school meals, this is under threat. David Cameron has said this is going to be kept, however we will not know for sure until The Chancellor, George Osborne, has made the announcement on the 25th November. If it is not a cut, it is still a threat for the foreseeable future. However, if we overcome this then the next biggest challenge is to ensure the future of free school meals is long term, possibly encouraging the introduction of universal junior free school meals – so all the children in a primary school receive a free school meals.

George Osborne announces that universal infant pre school meals will not be cut

I am delighted that the government has decided not to scrap the universal infant pre school meals, but we need to continue to work to retain this on a permanent basis and to move forward to the introduction of free school meals for the junior students.

If you were to have the opportunity to address The House of Commons, what would you say in summary?

Even in the 21st Century, school meals are just as important as they were in the late 1800’s when they were first introduced in schools. For many children, this is their only hot meal of the day.

What was your favourite school dinner back in your days at school?

Chocolate pudding and chocolate sauce!

What do you think will have the most impact on school feeding in the next 12 months?

Probably the Department of Health and the government’s obesity strategy, providing the above has been overcome.

Who would you choose to marry, kiss or avoid between Jamie Oliver, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent?

I would avoid Jamie Oliver, kiss Henry Dimbleby and marry John Vincent. That is a very odd question for a very old lady who has been married 53 years and I am not planning on changing!

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