A family business, which provides hot lunches to nurseries, schools and nursing homes, has expanded as a result of the Government’s free school meals policy.
The Easy Lunch Company in West Grinstead cooks meals on its premises to take into schools which do not have their own catering facilities.
Earlier this year the Government confirmed schools would have to provide free school meals to every pupil regardless of their family background and income.
The Easy Lunch Company has adapted to that by moving to a larger premises and fitting out a kitchen - all in the space of a few weeks.
Emma Treasure, who set up the company with her husband six years ago, said: “We moved in at the end of July. We had three weeks to turn it from an empty shell into a state-of-the-art kitchen.”
She added: “We’ve taken on new staff, fully kitted the kitchen out and got ourselves up and running. Even though (the free school meals policy) was announced last September, nothing was set in stone until February-March time. We didn’t want to sign a new property contract until we knew for definite.
“It’s great for us - the new business put our way. We have risen to the challenge and will continue to do so, but it was quite a tight timescale to get it done.”
The new kitchen was opened by West Sussex County Council chairman Amanda Jupp on Friday (August 29) and from this week the company will be providing about 1,200 lunches each day.
Mrs Jupp (Con, Billingshurst) said: “It’s a great success story. I think it’s a great family business and it’s successful, which I’m glad to promote. It’s delivering something I am sure every parent would want for their children: a good wholesome meal.”