Increased appetite for school meals in Derbyshire

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More Derbyshire school children are eating school meals than at any time in the last five years.

In the past year, school meal consumption at secondary schools increased to 42.2%, up from 37.9% in 2008-09.

The levels are the highest since 2005, a spokesman for Conservative-led Derbyshire County Council said.

In 2005-06 primary take up was 46.4% and fell to 42.6% in 2008-09, but bounced back to 46.5% in 2010-11.

Councillor Mike Longden said: "The five-year increase may only seem slight but when set against the national decline it is an impressive achievement and we are determined to continue the good work.

"We are delighted that more Derbyshire children are choosing to eat meals provided by our school meals service."

Much more of the food produced now uses locally sourced and organic ingredients - improving quality and keeping prices down, he said.

Since government nutritional guidelines on school meals were introduced in 2006, national take up has declined by 5.8% in primary schools and 4.9% in secondary schools.

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