A SCHOOL meal catering service is being reintroduced.

With pupils starting to return to school full-time from September 3, the catering service will resume and students will be provided with a healthy and nutritious meal every day.

The service provided food for children of key workers and children deemed to be vulnerable during the school closure period.

Denbighshire County Council also provided direct payments to those eligible for free school meals with money provided to parents or guardians instead of a school meal.

More than 3,500 children (1,900 families) were eligible for this scheme and these pupils will now return to being provided with free school meals and the last direct payment will be made on September 1.

Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Education and Public Engagement, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming children back to our schools full time after what has been a difficult period during lockdown.

“With pupils back in school, we have re-started our school meals service which provides a healthy and nutritious meal to students every day.

“All meals are cooked fresh every day and are nutritionally balanced to improve learning and development and all schools cater for special or restricted dietary requirements. I would also like to reassure parents that the highest hygiene standards are being employed by staff in the catering service.”

The menu varies every day and more than 7,600 school meals are served to pupils in the county each day.

Cllr Hilditch-Roberts added: “We would like to remind parents who have been in receipt of a direct payment instead of a free school meal that the final payment will be made on September 1 and will cover the previous week. children will then return to receiving their free school meals in the same way as before lockdown.

“I would like to pay tribute to the education, catering, benefit and finance teams for setting up and managing the direct payment system during this period, ensuring children in Denbighshire continued to have access a school meal equivalent during lockdown.”