100,000 Food for Life meals milestone
The Food for Life Scotland programme is celebrating a major milestone, with 100,000 Food for Life school meals now served across Scotland every school day!
Image: Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment with Emma Knox (4)
Celebrations in Inverclyde
Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, joined pupils at Weymss Bay Primary School for their school lunch to hear about the Food for Life Scotland scheme. Inverclyde Council are the latest local authority in Scotland to gain the Food for Life Served Here award for their school meals, having celebrated their Bronze award in May.
Pupils enjoyed mince and tatties with meat sourced from McLays Foods in Glasgow, along with seasonal fruit and vegetables supplied by George Carruthers & Sons. Also on offer was macaroni cheese, freshly prepared from scratch using Scottish milk, and homemade biscuits.
Image: Mairi Gougeon MSP serves lunch at Wemyss Bay Primary School
100,000 fresh, local school lunches every day
Food for Life Scotland programme has been supported by Scottish Government since 2012 with the aim of supporting councils to get more Scottish food onto school dinner plates and serve healthy, sustainable meals.
Since the scheme first began in 2008, 13 Scottish local authorities have achieved the independently-assessed Food for Life Served Here award, which recognises councils that are serving school meals made from fresh ingredients, using free-range eggs and high-welfare meat, and free from genetically modified ingredients and undesirable additives.
At Silver and Gold award levels, councils are rewarded for every penny spent on Scottish produce, as well as the steps they take to make healthy eating easier. They must also source a proportion of organic ingredients.
Images: Pupils at Wemyss Bay Primary School enjoy their lunch
Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon said: “It’s wonderful to see school children enjoying delicious, healthy food that has been grown, sourced and produced in Scotland. Since its inception 11 years ago the Food for Life programme has made a big difference to the lives of many young people across the country, and we should celebrate this major milestone today.
“We are working towards being a Good Food Nation where everyone better understands where our food comes from and benefits from the healthy food we produce in Scotland.
“We want more children to enjoy healthy food in their school meals that is grown, sourced and produced in Scotland. The Food for Life Served Here programme is helping us to achieve that.”
Councillor Jim Clocherty, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Education & Communities Committee, said: “School meals play an increasingly important part in the nutrition that children get. We’re proud to say that the freshly prepared meals our staff serve to local children are made with high quality ingredients which meet the Soil Association’s rigorous standards.
More and more local authorities are recognising the vital contribution that school meals make to developing children and, literally, to fuelling their education and their growth. Inverclyde’s contribution now means that 100,000 Scottish children every day are getting freshly prepared, sustainable, school meals. This is an important milestone and one that we hope that will encourage other local authorities to join the Food for Life Served Here scheme.”
Sarah Duley, Head of Food at Soil Association Scotland, said: "Food for Life Scotland works in partnership with local authorities across the country to put good food on the table as the norm, not an exception. One hundred thousand school meals every day which are good for pupils’ health, support thriving local economies, and protect Scotland’s natural environment is certainly cause for celebration.
“This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the local authority catering staff who source and serve good food day in, day out. We’re thrilled to recognise their success and look forward to working with even more of Scotland’s local authorities in the future.”