Shocked parents are reeling over the sight of school dinners served up to kids in schools across Tayside.
Many took to our social media pages to voice their opinions after we revealed the five photos which made a Dundee mum on benefits refuse free school meals.
Angry parents said they thought the meals looked ‘disgusting’, were ‘poor quality’ or just ‘too small’.
Tayside Contracts – which supplies all school dinners in local authority schools in Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross – said portion sizes were being re-evaluated.
And Dundee City Council has since said it is working with Tayside Contracts and its pupil council on “reviewing all approaches to school meals to maximise attendance”.
Concerns for vulnerable children
Dundee mum Niki Campbell, 41, said: “I think it’s disgusting. I wouldn’t eat that myself, I wouldn’t even feed it to a dog.
“It’s a shame for kids. Some of them it’s their only hot meal of the day and if they can’t eat it and aren’t going home to a hot meal, then what have they got?
“If it doesn’t look appetising or it’s not cooked then kids aren’t going to eat it.”
Niki, whose daughter is now in secondary school, complained about the school dinners in her child’s Dundee primary school in October last year.
That was after her daughter sent her this picture (above) of the pizza and potatoes she was served one day.
She said: “I thought it was bananas at first. If you zoom in you can actually see the cheese on the pizza isn’t cooked. Free or not, they shouldn’t be like that.”
Regular topic of conversation
Mum of three boys, Mary Bell, who runs Tee Caddy Takeaway and Cafe, in Carnoustie, says she hears children complain about school dinners “all the time” in the cafe.
Mary, 43, whose own kids are all in primary school and on packed lunches, said: “When my older two were starting P1 we were invited to school dinner tasters.
“We didn’t get that this year when my youngest started, I think because of Covid, but they were so bad.
“I had chicken curry and it was revolting, my husband had pizza and it was tasteless, just like bread. From what I hear they’ve got worse.
“My eldest did used to go dinners on a Friday, for the fish, but he came home one day saying they’ve changed it and he didn’t want it anymore because it was disgusting.”
Mary thinks something needs to change, adding that kids would be “better with packed lunches” in the meantime.
A matter of opinion
Supplier Tayside Contracts defended its meals, with a spokeswoman stating: “Whether or not they are ‘nice’ is, of course, subjective.
“However, they are certainly ‘healthy’ as all Tayside Contracts school meals fully comply with Scottish Government requirements.”