AN AYRSHIRE MP has rolled up his sleeves to dish out lunch to pupils at the Barony Campus.

Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Alan Brown was shown around the super school by food services manager Chris Walker and senior catering manager Kim Sloan, before serving up some fish and chips for the P1 class.

Although the Barony Campus is in Cumnock and outside of Mr Brown's constituency, many pupils who live in the Kilmarnock and Loudoun area, including those from Auchinleck and Mauchline, attend the campus. 

Mr Brown was invited to see first-hand how East Ayrshire’s Council catering department operate, and to hear about the local authority’s half-price school meal initiative.

Cumnock Chronicle: Mr Brown serving up some dishes.Mr Brown serving up some dishes. (Image: Alan Brown MP)

Since August 2023 the authority has been supporting a half-price school meal option for all paying pupils within P6 and P7 and all academy pupils. This means all paying children receive a healthy meal at lunchtime for only £1.08.

The council's catering department serves more than 1,100 freshly prepared meals to pupils and young learners at the Barony Campus every day.

All meals are served with a selection of fresh vegetables or salad options and use a host of local suppliers for the ingredients, including Corrie Mains eggs, Ferguson's bakery, Peroni Fish Merchants, Spittal Fruit and Vegetables, Mossgiel Farm and Campbell Brothers Prime Meat.

Mr Brown was also briefed on Mossgiel Farm's supply of fresh milk to all East Ayrshire schools' kitchens, with the milk then distributed into machines for pupils to help themselves.

This has resulted in the use of 15 million fewer single-use cartons.

Mr Brown said: “The local authority deserves so much credit for the food that is on offer for every pupil at every school in East Ayrshire.

“The accessibility of a high-quality, freshly prepared meal for paying pupils at a mere £1.08 is truly commendable, particularly in light of the ongoing challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis.

Cumnock Chronicle:

“It was great to hear the council’s use of several local suppliers for their production, and everything is made fresh in-house.

"The employment factor was also interesting, given the fact that East Ayrshire currently has five modern apprentices working in school kitchens across the area.

“I was glad to lend a hand and dish up some lunches for the kids before being treated to my own fish and chips which was delicious."

“I would like to thank Chris and Kim - the exceptional rapport they share with the staff truly personifies the cohesiveness of an outstanding team and the exceptional working environment they have in place there."

Mr Walker added: “It was a pleasure to invite along Alan Brown to view first-hand the school meals service.

“Alan showed a great interest in the preparation and delivery of the school meals service on the day of his visit, even helping out with the service at the counters, serving primary school pupils their healthy lunch on the day, along with a fresh cup of Mossgiel milk.”