Two Jewish schools to end kosher meals for students next month

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Two Jewish schools to end kosher meals for students next month

Hasmonean's boys' and girls' schools says rising costs mean the service must end on 28 October

An image showing an example of lunch food at a secondary comprehensive school. (Photo: Alamy)
An image showing an example of lunch food at a secondary comprehensive school. (Photo: Alamy)

Two Jewish secondary schools in north-west London will stop providing kosher meals to students next month, asking parents to send in a packed lunch from the end of October.

A letter seen by the Jewish News was sent to parents and carers of students at Hasmonean High School for Boys and Hasmonean High School for Girls, both based in Hendon, north-west London.

It read: “Rising supply costs have meant that it is no longer financially viable for [our catering supplier] to continue supplying our schools.

“As a result, effective as of 28 October 2022, there will be no food supplied to both schools for either the morning or lunch breaks.

“Despite our extensive research into locating a replacement caterer, this has been unsuccessful and unfortunately, this will mean that all students will be required to bring in a packed lunch daily going forward, and a snack for break time if they would like to. All food and drink brought into the school must of course be kosher.”

It added: “We will be sending out information regarding students who receive Free School Meals over the next few weeks so that they continue to receive what they are entitled to.

“We are sorry that this will cause you inconvenience but unfortunately this is due to circumstances beyond our control.”

Paul Robottom, the founder and director of Signature Dining, confirmed that his company would no longer supply meals to the Hasmonean secondary schools.

Robottom, who supplies almost 18 Jewish primary and secondary schools with kosher meals, described the impact of rising prices seen in food and fuel inflation as an “economic pandemic”.

Reflecting on the cost of living crisis, called for more government support for businesses and schools, warning that without it the industry would go bust.

“Everyone is being squeezed,” he said. “It is hugely impacting us, it is a new pandemic, an economic pandemic and it will only get worse.”

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