A parent has spoken out after she claimed her daughter returned home starving because she refused to eat the “vile” school dinners on offer at her secondary school. The parent said she was amazed that kids in QE High, the biggest school in Carmarthen, were expected to eat some of the food prepared and sold there.
The school dinners, managed by Carmarthenshire Council, cost £2.60 a day, but some say they believe they do not represent value for money. You can keep up to date with the latest Carmarthenshire news by signing up to the local newsletter here.
The parent, who did not want to be named, said: “My daughter sent me a picture of her food in school. It was a jacket potato with cheese but it looked like it had been thrown on the plate. It’s been going on for weeks. She says the only edible thing is the paninis, but by the time her year goes for lunch there’s not much left. She’s complained a few times before and I’ve now resorted to making her packed lunches every day. From what she showed me, the food looks gooey and like it’s off. Other parents have mentioned the same thing. My daughter came back from school hungry last week because she said the food was vile, so she eats me out of house and home when she comes back.”
This isn’t the first time that secondary school dinners in Carmarthenshire have come in for criticism. In March, the lunches on offer at Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland, 14 miles west of Carmarthen, were labelled “shocking” by parents, one of whom said: “That’s why my son’s coming home starving. He did mention the food was awful but I never imagined it was this bad! Absolutely vile – he’s actually been sick a couple of times in school where I’ve had to pick him up. I’m seriously questioning now whether the food made him ill.”
Following the criticism, the canteen at Ysgol Dyffryn Taf was shut for two days so that staff could “reconsider all aspects” of the food it offered to pupils. With regards to the food at QE High, one person commented on a picture shared on social media by saying: “I’d eat anything, but not that. Poor child.” Another person said it “looked disgusting”, while another said it “looks like someone stood on it before plating it”.
The disgruntled QE High mum, who said her daughter had never had any issues when she was in primary school in Carmarthen, said: “I don’t know whether it’s the school or a wider issue across Carmarthenshire. I don’t know if the cooks need to get more training or what? But my daughter will be having packed lunches for the foreseeable future.”
Carmarthenshire Council said it would now be looking into concerns raised about the standard of food at QE High. The council’s director of education, Gareth Morgans, said: “Now this has been brought to our attention we will be looking into this matter. If any pupil feels that their food is substandard then please take it back to the counter. If parents/guardians or pupils have any concerns about the standard of food in Carmarthenshire schools, we would encourage them to contact email@example.com.”
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