School pupils have called for a review into the quality and cost of school meals across Fife, which have been branded inedible by many children.
At Cowdenbeath area committee on Wednesday, Emma Devine and Bailey-Lee Robb, both of Lochgelly High School, asked the education and children’s services committee to look into the cost of school meals – and why the quality is so poor.
Ms Devine said: “It isn’t all bad – we have fish Friday and the macaroni and cheese is really good.
“But the rest of the meals are not good quality. They simply don’t taste nice.
“From lumpy potatoes to watered down gravy, it simply isn’t good.
“Kids entitled to free school meals get £2.20 loaded onto their card. This doesn’t cover a snack, as stated by education. Some of them are coming to school hungry. They grab a packet of crisps on their break costing them 80p and then they can’t afford a meal at lunch.
“We are pricing young people out of being fed for the day. The prices of some items are ridiculous, especially when you can get items cheaper in the shops.”
Bailey-Lee Robb, local member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MYSP), told the committee: “I’ve had messages all across Fife saying that some of the food is disgusting – their words, not mine. I don’t think it comes down to personal taste, I think it’s the actual quality and how it appears.
“People wouldn’t serve this sort of food in the house, so why are your children getting made to eat this?”
Councillor Rosemary Liewald said: “The quality just isn’t good enough, when the vast majority of students aren’t eating it. There’s more waste going in bins and that’s not acceptable.
“I do welcome that young people have come forward and said we’ve not got it right, and it’s not just here, it’s right across the council. The amount of money being spent making a meal is 56p but we’re charging children nearly £2 and it’s simply not good enough. All of these are things that need to be looked at.”
Councillors agreed that they would request a full report from the committee as a matter of importance. It is to include young people and will specifically focus on the pricing and quality of food.
A report is due back to committee by October.
Reporting by Emma O'Neill