Where does school lunch come from

The schools and kindergartens are well equipped - but there is one point where there is a major shortcoming. Almost all parents who took part in the SZ Family Compass, with a few exceptions, come to the same devastating result: the food does not taste good. In most schools as well as in some kindergartens, the food is supplied by the Sodexo industrial kitchen, cooked in the Stolpen part of the company. There was criticism not only in this country. A parents' initiative was even founded in the Bautzen district.

In order to counter the criticism, the company has gone on the offensive and invited some critical parents to watch the pots. The chicken legs come from Saxony-Anhalt. The cut red cabbage from Lommatzsch care. The shrink-wrapped and already peeled potatoes from Rothenburg. Sodexo has placed all products that come from the region next to each other. "We attach great importance to this," says the Dresden division manager of Sodexo, Jochen Peschke. He stands in front of the counter and explains the ingredients in the Stolpener Sodexo kitchen. The employees have prepared a whole table with the regional products. In front of each ingredient there is a note with the company of origin. “We are particularly proud that our sausage comes from Dürrröhrsdorf, only a few kilometers away,” says Jochen Peschke.

Sodexo knows that parents value regional products and now wants to exploit this advantage. There is a lot at stake for the company. That is why they tried to dispel doubts during the tour. The parents asked for an explanation of how the registration and deregistration of food works via the Internet, and they saw the small storage room and the equally small cold store. "We don't have that much space for storage here, so the quantities are quite clear," says Stolpen's operations manager Sabine Schiller. Still, the packaging is big. The flour from Baden-Württemberg is ready on stairs in 25-kilo sacks. A father wonders. “Isn't there any flour from Saxony?” Yes, but Sodexo has no contract with such a mill, says the plant manager. “As a large kitchen, we have certain requirements.” You can see them straight away. The pineapple slices come in three-kilo cans. The imperial cherries in two-kilo packs. You are proud of the crepes that you roll up yourself. And the potato salad and the puree, which you don't buy ready-made either. The way leads through the large kitchen. The ladles and whisks here are as long as an outstretched arm. According to the parents, the most difficult problem is and remains to keep the dishes warm for a long time. "But we make sure that the food is 65 degrees", says the sales manager for Saxony, Birgit Barske. Even when cooking, care is taken to ensure that the food remains in the warming containers for some time and that it is cooked there. The transport route cannot be mastered otherwise.

But that can't be the only reason why many students don't go out to eat. In primary schools, an average of seven out of ten parents still order food for their children. But this decreases in high school and high school. Not so many students eat with them anymore. They take care of food stalls or grab pizza, doner kebab or bread rolls and cakes. It can hardly be because of the costs. Because a school lunch here still costs less than a kebab. Sodexo explains the reluctance to use the unsatisfactory conditions in many schools. So the dining rooms are too small. The students have to go out to eat in classes and often have little time. There is no space to set up extra counters from which the children can help themselves. The Sodexo company invites parents to look into it. "If you talk to the school authorities, we are also happy to be there," says Birgit Barske.