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School dinners could become smaller or use ‘cheaper ingredients’ amid cost of living crisis

The government’s funding for free school dinners hasn’t aligned with the rise in inflation

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Markeaton Primary School

School caterers could be forced to serve smaller portions or use cheaper ingredients due to rising prices, a major food wholesaler has warned.

According to Andrew Selley, the boss of Bidfood, school caterers are having to make ‘difficult decisions’ as soaring inflation hikes the cost of food.

Selley said ‘all of the inputs into the food supply chain’ had increased over the past nine months, putting pressure on Bidfoods, which caters to schools, hospitals and NHS trusts across the UK.

He told BBC News: “We are seeing things like sunflower oil is double the price it was a year ago, which has pushed into other oils like vegetable oil, rapeseed oil, even palm oil. 

“Bakery items are up 20-30%.”

He then called upon the government to ensure funding for free school meals will align with rising prices, saying they are ‘vital’ for children’s ‘education and attainment’. 

He explained: “Over the last ten years, the amount of money the government provides for free school meals has only gone up by 1.7%, which obviously was well behind inflation even before this last twelve months.

“We can see that is going to leave some difficult decisions for school caterers [in the months ahead].

“Either they are going to potentially serve smaller portions or cheaper ingredients which isn’t going to be good for the children.”

Gorton Primary School

This comes as research finds nearly one in ten parents are ‘very likely’ to use a food bank to feed their children over the next three months.

The research, courtesy of The Trussell Trust and Deliveroo, says that as many as 1.3 million parents are expecting to have to visit a food bank as families struggle to cope with rising costs of living, with 88% of those surveyed admitting their monthly food bill has increased in the past three months.

The study also found that a third of parents skipped at least one meal to keep up with other costs, while 20% said they had been unable to cook hot food at least once in the past three months because of the cost of using an oven.

And of those who said their household bills had gone up, 58% said they had cut back on heating as a result.

Read more about The Trussell Trust and Deliveroo’s partnership here.

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Supermarkets putting security tags on cheese and more everyday items

Too far?

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@Celeste_Tam42 & @CharIieBennett / Twitter

More everyday products have been spotted with security tags in supermarkets as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Yesterday it was Lurpak butter, today it’s cheese, with people taking to social media to share photos of £3.99 blocks of Aldi cheddar covered with a tag.

As well as cheese, £8 lamb chops in a Co-op store in Wolverhampton were spotted protected with a GPS tracking device – according to reports supermarkets are also putting tags on some baby milk.

Twitter user Tam shared photos of the cheese and lamb, writing: “If you think Lurpak is bad – the local Aldi and Coop have started security tagging food. There was a GPS protected tag on a pack of lamb chops as well…”

In reference to tagging products, a Co-op spokesman said: “Co-op has been involved in a small-scale trial of new packaging for higher value products for well over a year, with the additional security providing a further deterrent if a store locally experiences shoplifting issues”.

Lurpak has also gone viral in recent weeks as people take to social media to reveal how much its price has risen in various supermarkets.

This obsession reached a peak this week, with a 1kg tub of Lurpak spotted for a whopping £9.35 by one social media user.

The expensive tub of Lurpak butter was shared to Twitter by Josh Christian, who said: “Stop the world I want to get off… @Lurpak come on lads this is a joke @Conservatives this is all your fault we’re all going to be eating dry toast stop taking off us and sort this mess out people are starving while your m8 are getting richer”.

And that’s not the only place raising the price of large tubs of the butter, with some shoppers spotting a 1kg pack costing £9 at Ocado online.

As well as that, Morrisons is selling 1kg packs of Lurpak for £7.50 on its website, while last week a 500g tub was seen going for £5 – just a short while ago this would have cost £3.65.

Shoppers have been questioning why the price has risen so much, with Vivien McDermott saying: “Why is it so expensive? Morrisons salted butter 250g was £1.75 last week so £7 if you buy a kilo worth. Save a few quid that way.”

Jayne Gardiner added: “That’s disgusting, I’d never pay that, just to have jam on toast would cost over a tenner, no way.”

Lurpak is in such high demand that it was also spotted with security tags in at least one Asda supermarket.

​​Charlie Bennett shared a photo of the heavily protected tub, writing: “Britain in 2022… Lurpak butter is at £6 a tub in ASDA and even has a security tag on it.”

The buttery news comes as food prices continue to rocket on the whole around the country, with experts blaming soaring inflation, Brexit, the war in Ukraine and a cost of living crisis.

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Yes, ANOTHER lorry has got stuck under this notorious Greater Manchester bridge

It’s happened again…

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Google Maps

Just weeks after we reported that a van got stuck under a notorious Greater Manchester railway bridge, yet another vehicle has met the same fate.

Even though there is large yellow lettering warning drivers that it is actually a low bridge, people still keep trying their luck.

Located on Prescott Street in Wigan, this time the driver of a white lorry thought their vehicle could fit under the bridge – it couldn’t.

According to reports the incident happened on the evening of Monday July 4th as the evening rush hour got underway.

Naturally, this led to traffic chaos along both the road and surrounding area.

A photo of the lorry in question was posted to social media, showing the substantial damage it had received after getting stuck.

One social media user said, as per Wigan Today: “Getting out of hand now this just put bollards up and stop it as a rat run.”

Another added: “Too many getting stuck under that bridge”, while a third joked: “Got to admit the guys who built that bridge did a good job.”

The bridge has earned itself quite the reputation among drivers in the town thanks to its deceptively low parapet.

Over the years, a number of vans and lorries have wound up wedged under the bridge – at least once a month, according to one resident – which ironically features a bold ‘LOW BRIDGE’ sign on both sides.

And so many drivers ignore the sign and get their vehicles stuck under the bridge, in fact, that there is even a Facebook page dedicated to shaming those who underestimate the size of their vehicle.

The description for the Box Vans vs Prescott St Bridge Facebook page simply reads: “A collection of photos of idiots who don’t know the height of the vehicle they’re driving”.

The page does exactly what it says on the tin; shares updates and photos whenever a van gets itself wedged under the bridge. 

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Lurpak has been spotted for £9.35 in one supermarket and shoppers are furious

‘Stop the world I want to get off’

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@Joshpeterchrist & @CharIieBennett / Twitter

As the cost of living crisis continues to hit us in our bank accounts, one rather inconspicuous, common supermarket item has become a barometer for rising prices: Lurpak.

The humble butter spread has gone viral in recent weeks as people take to social media to reveal how much its price has risen in various supermarkets.

This obsession has reached a peak this week, with a 1kg tub of Lurpak spotted for a whopping £9.35 by one social media user.

The expensive tub of Lurpak butter was shared to Twitter by Josh Christian, who said: “Stop the world I want to get off… @Lurpak come on lads this is a joke @Conservatives this is all your fault we’re all going to be eating dry toast stop taking off us and sort this mess out people are starving while your m8 are getting richer”.

And that’s not the only place raising the price of large tubs of the butter, with some shoppers spotting a 1kg pack costing £9 at Ocado online.

As well as that, Morrisons is selling 1kg packs of Lurpak for £7.50 on its website, while last week a 500g tub was seen going for £5 – just a short while ago this would have cost £3.65.

Shoppers have been questioning why the price has risen so much, with Vivien McDermott saying: “Why is it so expensive? Morrisons salted butter 250g was £1.75 last week so £7 if you buy a kilo worth. Save a few quid that way.”

Jayne Gardiner added: “That’s disgusting, I’d never pay that, just to have jam on toast would cost over a tenner, no way.”

And it seems that Lurpak is in such high demand that it’s even been spotted with security tags in at least one Asda supermarket.

​​Charlie Bennett shared a photo of the heavily protected tub, writing: “Britain in 2022… Lurpak butter is at £6 a tub in ASDA and even has a security tag on it.”

The buttery news comes as food prices continue to rocket on the whole around the country, with experts blaming soaring inflation, Brexit, the war in Ukraine and a cost of living crisis.

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