A POPULAR dinner lady at a primary school has been recognised for feeding hungry pupils for over thirty years.

Barbara Bell, the cook manager at Wooden Hill Primary and Nursery school in Great Hollands has been at the school for 31 years.

The devoted cook has said that she will never get bored of the job because she knows lunchtime is the children's favourite time of day.

Barbara said: "I love what I do. I never get bored of doing the same thing day-in-day-out as there is always so much to do.

"The children are so lovely but it is so hard to get them to eat their vegetables, and they can be quite honest at times.

Every month the menu changes, but its staple dishes is roast dinner Wednesday's and fish finger Friday's.

The dinner lady noticed that over the years, food is not what it is used to be so she has had to adapt her ways.

She added: "Students would be served a cottage pie and pudding with custard but now, there are healthy salads, jacket potatoes and more to choose from."

Before lunchtime, students will enter what meal they want through a computer system and Mrs Bell writes it down on her trusted whiteboard.

Mrs Bell said: "When the kids line up to be served, they say they ordered something else and I will often change it to something else that they want to keep them happy.

"They are just great and I think I know most of their names now."

In 2017, she was awarded a certificate by Feeding Hungry Minds (ISS Education) for her 30 years of service in the industry.

Joanna Lagares, headteacher at Wooden Hill, said: "She is amazing and a selling part of the school because of her meals.

"Barbara has been here the longest out of anyone and she does a good job making sure the food tastes nice and that everyone is happy."

Quite often, the teachers and office staff will ask to be fed because they forgot their lunch and Barbara will always go out of their way.

Barbara said: "I have to thank my staff too as they are a great team and have always been great."