Neath Port Talbot Council’s hard working AMS (Access Managed Services) Catering Team has been rewarded for its work at a national
At the annual ceremony run by LACA – The School Food People – the team picked up the Welsh Government’s Food in Schools award for the overall excellence of its work and in particular for rolling out free school meals to all primary school children a year ahead of schedule.
And at the LACA Wales ceremony held at the Vale of Glamorgan’s Vale Resort on October 26 th , 2023, the team also had the honour of being shortlisted for these three awards:
- Catering Management Team of the Year.
- The Innovation Award and,
- The Community Impact Award.
The council’s catering scheme excelled itself when responding to the Welsh Government’s ambitious commitment for every primary school pupil in Wales to receive a free school meal by 2024.
The rollout of the strategy in Neath Port Talbot began with reception children in September 2022 and Years 1 and 2 in November 2022 and Years 3 and 4 in April 2023 – earlier this year free school meals were rolled out to years 5 and 6 meaning Neath Port Talbot was a year ahead of the Welsh Government deadline.
The LACA awards aim to recognise the great work that has been going on in Wales in the school catering sector. LACA originally stood for Local
Authority Caterers Association but it now represents both public and private sector caterers so is now known as ‘LACA – the School Food People’.
Cllr Nia Jenkins, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Early Years, said: “Working in very challenging financial circumstances our catering team works hard to keep thousands of meals coming on a daily basis and they excelled themselves by rolling out free school meals in Neath Port Talbot to all primary schools well ahead of schedule.
“I am incredibly proud of the team and I’m sure this recognition will give everyone a boost after a couple of extremely difficult years.”