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Children staying for lunch at Merridale have a choice of a school meal (through our caterers, Caterlink) or a packed lunch. A still drink may also be brought providing it is in an unbreakable, leak-proof container although all children have access to water throughout the school day and at lunchtime. We ask that children bring a healthy lunch to school - if you would like advice or support with this, please contact us. We also request that canned drinks are not brought to school. It is advisable for items to be contained in a named lunch box. 

All dinner money is paid through our App System School Gateway. If you require any help please contact the school office.  

All Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children are currently entitled to “Universal Infant Free School Meals”. If you do not wish for your child to have a free meal at school, please let us know. 

If you think you might be eligible for Free School Meals, you can find out more information by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page or come and ask at the school office for more information.

Or click here to see if you are eligible:

Apply for free school meals - GOV.UK (

Pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals also receive a range of other benefits from school including free milk, free after school clubs and book vouchers. All enquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence and the children are not made aware of who does and who does not pay for school meals.

Dinner money for Key Stage 2 children (Years 3/4/5/6) is £2.40 per day (£12.00 per week).

School meals at Merridale are provided by a company called Caterlink. Please follow the link at the bottom of this page for our current menu. 

Information from Caterlink:

At Caterlink our primary objective is to provide pupils, staff and visitors with a choice of homemade, nutritious and well-balanced meals. All our food is made fresh on-site using quality produce in line with both Food For Life Silver or Gold standards, and the School Food Standards. We have won a number of awards for using honest, local produce, including Compassion in World Farming ‘Good Egg Award’ and ‘Good Chicken Award’ for it’s commitment to source only free range RSPCA assured eggs. We use red tractor meat, MSC sustainably sourced fish products and a range of Fairtrade products. We will deliver a termly three week menu cycle, which will be developed alongside our local teams, development chefs and nutritionist with input from pupils and staff within the schools. We will offer a range of both meat and vegetarian options, as well as a daily salad bar, vegetables and a choice of two fresh breads baked on site. Freshly cut fruit and natural flavoured yoghurt will be available daily as an alternative to our homemade desserts. All our desserts are in line with lower sugar recommendations and all contain less than 6.5g of free sugars per portion. Menus will reflect the requirements and tastes of pupils and staff and will be continually monitored to ensure that menu choices encourage the highest levels of uptake.

We are proud of our food heritage which demonstrates our commitment to traceability of the meals we serve. Our meat main meals are freshly prepared on site and made with Red Tractor/Farm Assured fresh meat whilst our suppliers are audited by an external body to ensure they comply with our high standards and statutory obligations. We have a huge respect for the produce we work with and are committed to driving forward new and innovative environmental schemes that will help protect those resources. We are currently the only company in our sector to have invested in a dedicated specialist responsible for developing environmental management schemes – for our business and those of our clients. 

School Meals Menu - 2023/24
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Useful Downloads 

School Meals

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