CHRISTMAS dinner was served up to thousands of children at primary schools in West Sussex.
Many of the meals were dished out for free, as part of the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) scheme.
Pupils at Glebe Primary School, in Church Lane, Southwick, had a special reason to celebrate, as they were allowed to dress as an elf for the seasonal celebration.
Year-one pupil Millie said: “It was really nice – I really liked the sausages. The cake was scrummy.”
Christmas lunches were served at schools across the county on selected days right up until the end of term, on Friday.
UIFSM are available for pupils from reception to year two.
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We’re delighted so many children have been able to benefit from these free meals.
“As lovely as it is to see at Christmas-time, it’s wonderful to see them enjoying their lunches all year round.
“Studies show that having a healthy and nutritious meal can help to improve concentration in the classroom, which means our children will be able to reap the rewards long into the new year, and for many years to come.”
Since September, more than 2.5 million meals have been served at infant and primary schools across West Sussex.
The average take up of school meals by infant-aged children in West Sussex is currently around 90 per cent. Previously, it had been around 30 per cent.
Evie, who is in reception, said: “I like the school dinners. I like all of it. My best pudding is the yoghurt.”