Somerset County Council employs Twitter for digital school dinner menu

Somerset County Council has become the first local authority to publish its school dinner menu on Twitter.

Digital menu: school dinners on Twitter
Digital menu: school dinners on Twitter

Parents, grandparents or carers are now able to sign up to a daily ‘school menu' update, listing what their child will eat for lunch. The feed will also be used to update parents on special theme days, taster sessions and how to apply for free school meals.

The Somerset County Council's County Services, alongside the Schools Food Trust, provide lunches to 88 school sites. The Twitter trial is part of a raft of initiatives from marketing support to improving kitchen efficiencies that the Trust is piloting to support local authorities in increasing take up of school meals.  

The School Food Trust's director of comms Chris Wainwright, said: ‘Parents have told us that they want more information about what their children are eating.  Sometimes the message doesn't get home, and it can be difficult to get children to talk about what they had for lunch.  With this trial, parents will be able to ask what children thought about the food on offer, and which lunch option they chose.'

Netmums' director of food and nutrition Cathy Court praised the trial. ‘Our recent school food survey found that one of the biggest concerns that parents have around school meals is that they don't know what their child is eating. Getting a menu every day will put parents in much better control of their child's diet.'

Using Twitter as a source of local information is becoming increasingly popular.  According to UKLocalCouncils, 116 councils are currently on Twitter, giving people the chance to get regular updates on planning, local initiatives, voting, utilities and a wide range of local issues.

The Schools Food Trust recently hired Bright Young Things Communications.

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