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25 November 2011, 06:00
Children as young as five have been taking flasks of soup into Charlton Lower School as they are no longer able to get a hot meal.
Charlton Lower School has had to stop providing hot meals because they can't afford the transportation costs.
Central Bedfordshire Council provide schools with money for catering and free school meals but this money does not cover the cost of delivering the meals. The village school is only small and does not have the facilities to make the meals on-site.
Parents are not happy that their children can't have a warm meal in the winter months. Sharon Kemp has two children at the school:
"Its getting to the winter period and we all like our children to have a hot meal in their tummies especially my little one she's very frail and small, I've always believed they should have a hot meal over winter"
Sharon is now amongst a number of parents who have brought flasks for their children so they can have warm soup with their sandwiches for lunch.
"Both my children were very upset, they absolutely adored their dinners at school. Now they are devouring their only hot meal in the evenings"
Head teacher of Charlton Lower, Liz Noble, says that all the school governors were very disappointed to have to stop the hot meals but they had to make cut backs somewhere:
"We have had to cancel the school meals because the council made new arrangements on funding... we have to balance between having teaching staff and items for the classroom against providing meals"
With Christmas coming up Sharon Kemp said a lot of the parents were upset that the children would not be able to have a school Christmas dinner. She told Heart that some parents have even offered to cook the meals at home and bring them in but health and safety will not allow.
The school say they will continue perusing providers to try and find one they can afford.