A SCHOOL meals supplier has been shortlisted for a top award.

Local Food Links has been shortlisted for Contract Caterer of the Year in the prestigious 2017 EDUcatering Excellence awards.

The award recognise outstanding contributions to the entire school catering industry.

LFL has been dishing up school dinners to thousands of pupils in Dorset for over a decade and has grown from small beginnings - from serving soup and a roll in Bridport schools one day-a-week to becoming a multi-site operation now supplying 34 schools across the county.

It is both a social enterprise and an ethical organisation which, managers say, is passionate about feeding children well, using high quality ingredients and supporting local businesses.

Speaking about the nomination, CFL chief executive Caroline Morgan said: “This is fantastic news. We are so proud to have been shortlisted and recognised nationally and I would like to thank our staff for all their hard work and commitment.”

Local Food Links was established in 1999 by charity the West Dorset Food and Land Trust to run farmer’s markets and other food initiatives including the Bridport Food Festival, the Grow It, Cook It, Eat It Project, cookery workshops and an NVQ training in Catering for young people.

The organisation has grown from strength-to-strength, and its kitchens provide freshly-prepared meals daily to more than 30 schools and nurseries.

It also runs mini-hub kitchens at Dorchester Middle School and Shillingstone School, supplying eight other schools between them. Chairman Mike Henderson added: “It is important that the contributions of small and not-for-profit organisations are recognised in the school catering industry. LFL has worked flexibly and in partnership with schools to ensure that pupils in small rural schools have equal access to high quality school meals.”

The winners will be announced on October 10.