Some schools in the UK are resorting to new strategies in order to continue providing students with nutritional meals despite the recent surge in prices.
According to Supply Management, a number of schools have started growing their own vegetables in order to complement the reduced number of catering contracts. Others are cutting down on the quantity of meat meals they offer on their menus and sourcing all of their products from nearby businesses. The decrease in meat in schools comes at a time when one third of customers in the UK are also reducing their consumption of animal protein owing to rising prices.
A number of factors, including war, general increases in commodity prices, labor shortages, and increases in energy prices, have had an effect on the provisioning for school meals.
Soil Association food policy director Rob Percival said in a statement that “school caterers have been warning for years of a growing crisis, and it has now, predictably, come to a head,” he said. “When caterers have faced years of underfunding on top of the current levels of inflation, this is wholly inadequate,” he said. A study conducted by the Soil Association found that 55.3% of educational institutions were unable to successfully renegotiate their catering contracts. The reason for this is that prices continue to go up exponentially.