Providing 1300 meals a day over two sites is enough of a challenge under normal circumstances, and it also makes us the second-largest catering operation in the Maidstone district. Over the summer, our catering manager, John Devine, was given the unenviable task of helping devise a system to ensure our Refectory was a safe space.
To create at least a one-metre social distancing area, we removed every other chair from our dining halls and introduced additional sittings. In order to speed up service time and enable fast turnaround between sittings, the temporary use of disposable tableware was unavoidable. Not wishing to undo the huge strides we have already taken in eliminating single-use plastics, Mr Devine scoured the market for sustainable, biodegradable, plant-based disposable products. Whilst our aim is to re-introduce real tableware as soon as it is safe to do so, at least these temporary measures have a negligible environmental impact.
During the first half of the term, we have been able to re-introduce a number of school favourites including chicken fajitas and katsu curry. We will continue to do so after Half Term while pupils, parents and staff are encouraged to put forward menu recommendations by email here – firstname.lastname@example.org.