THERE’S some good news for parents with the announcement that the price of a school meal is to be kept at £2 for the another year.

At his decision day on 23 January Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for Children’s services, approved keeping the price of school meals at its current level of £2 per meal.

Around 10 million meals are likely to be served in the county’s schools by the end of the school year, based on current numbers.

More than 39,000 primary children in Hampshire now enjoy school meals each day, including those entitled to free meals.

The rise in popularity of the meals served by the county council’s catering service (HC3S) is attributed to the addition of a number of tasty lunchtime favourites on the menu, including roast dinners which are now available twice a week, chilli meatballs, pizza, and fish on a Friday. Since 2005 school meals have been free from over 70 artificial colours and preservatives and some ingredients are sourced locally.

Roy Perry said: “I am mindful that we are living in difficult economic times so I hope this news is welcomed by parents.

“The high take-up has enabled us to hold the price for the fourth year in a row and in my view, these meals represent excellent value for money.

Impact on behaviour “It has also long been recognised that a child’s diet not only affects their physical health but also impacts on their behaviour, concentration and performance in the classroom.

“The school meals service also provides a vital contribution towards supporting local food producers where possible, which is important for the development of the Hampshire economy.”