'It's a joke' - parents fury as Edinburgh primary children miss out on hot lunches for rest of term

Furious parents have said that primary school kids will miss out on hot lunches for the rest of term, leaving them with ‘pretty bad’ sandwiches.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 7:00 am

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It comes after parents received a letter today from Edinburgh City Council informing them Wardie Primary kitchen will be closed from next week until the 25th of June for a refurbishment of facilities.

The works which are part of a schools upgrade programme will also see kitchens closed in Leith Primary school, Duddingston primary and Ferryhill Primary for the next eight weeks.

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School kids to miss out on hot lunches

In the letter the council said it has taken longer to appoint a contractor due to covid-19 and issued an apology for inconvenience.

But parents are annoyed that they have only been given a week's notice and have raised concerns about the quality of ‘enhanced’ packed lunches on offer in the new menu supplied by the council

Rebecca, whose daughter attends Wardie Primary said: “This is a joke. We just got back from Easter break. The kids missed out on many a hot meal during covid-19, it was only brought back in November. Now they are going to lose it again. I feel sorry for the kids. Some don’t have hot meals at home.

“On a Friday they get packed lunches but the fillings are questionable. The cheese is so thin, they hardly get any chicken and the egg is rank. The tuna is okay. The sandwiches are pretty bad if I am honest. All the parents have been on the parent group chats today in an uproar about it.

Sandwiches...Wardie Primary

"What’s the excuse for not just doing the work during the summer holidays? They are saying it would be less disruptive to do work now rather than keep the kitchen closed after the summer. It doesn’t make sense.”

One mum whose son attends Leith primary school said: “I think my son won’t eat the sandwiches provided with the packed lunches. He’s not been keen on them in the past. I can’t just have him eating the snacks that go with it. So I’ll end up having to give him lunches. Parents who end up having to do this should get reimbursed.”

A council spokesperson said: “We’re investing £2m to upgrade school kitchens so we can meet the increase in free school meals which start next term. This is the largest ever programme we have undertaken and means we will be able to deliver an additional 12,000 meals across the city. As a result we’re having to temporarily close four kitchens so these important upgrades can take place. We appreciate there will be some short-term impact to lunches but we’ve scheduled the majority of the work during the summer holidays to minimise disruption.

“The wellbeing of our pupils is our highest priority and whilst the improvements are taking place we’re putting in place an enhanced packed lunch provision. We want to apologise for any disruption this may cause but hope parents will appreciate that these upgrades mean we will be able to provide even more free school meals for pupils.”

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