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Inverclyde Council celebrates award-winning school meals

Inverclyde join Food for Life

Fresh, local, sustainable lunches are on the menu for over 3,500 primary school kids in Inverclyde after the council’s school meals service won a Bronze Food for Life Served Here Award.

Sarah Duley from Food for Life Scotland presented the award to Councillor Natasha Murphy, vice convener of Inverclyde Council’s education and communities Committee, along with school catering staff and pupils at Ardgowan Primary School, Greenock, on Thursday 27 June.

The Food for Life Served Here award recognises councils that are serving school meals which are made from fresh ingredients, use free-range eggs and high-welfare meat and are free from genetically modified ingredients and undesirable additives.

The Food for Life Scotland programme is run by the Soil Association Scotland and aims to help school catering staff serve freshly prepared meals made from locally produced ingredients that are healthy and sustainable. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government.

Inverclyde Council is the 13th local authority in Scotland to achieve the Soil Association’s prestigious Food for Life Served Here award. It now serves 3,527 Food for Life certified meals every day across its 20 certified primary schools.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon said, “This award is recognition of a collective effort to see children enjoy more of Scotland’s fantastic produce as part of their school meals. The Food for Life Scotland programme is key to helping us achieve that, as well as deliver on our shared ambition with the food and drink sector, to find new market opportunities for producers, to help sustain and grow their businesses, whilst bolstering local economies and improving our children’s health.

“Food for Life is also a key part of the recently announced Good Food Futures programme, which provides a co-ordinated “end to end” approach to the delivery of food education for children in Scotland and encouragement for young people to work in the food and drink sector.

 “I look forward to seeing more local authorities across Scotland sign up to Food for Life in the near future.” 

Councillor Natasha Murphy, Vice Convener of the Education & Communities Committee said, “I would like to congratulate our staff on achieving this important milestone. In Inverclyde, one child in four lives in poverty. In some areas the figure is as high as one in three. Research has consistently highlighted the basic fact that you have to eat well to do well and we recognise the absolute importance of making sure local children receive good quality meals made from healthy ingredients. This initiative provides an important contribution towards their physical development and contributes towards closing the attainment gap between children from poorer areas and more affluent areas.

“Sourcing ingredients locally also helps to support Inverclyde firms, generate employment and protect the environment by reducing the distance goods need to be carried.”

Sarah Duley, Head of Food at Soil Association Scotland, said: “Food for Life Scotland works in partnership with local authorities to put fresh, Scottish, seasonal food on school dinner plates across the country.

“This Food for Life Served Here award is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved, from the Councillors to the catering staff. We’re delighted to recognise Inverclyde Council’s commitment to serving fresh, local produce in their school meals, and we look forward to working with even more of Scotland’s local authorities in the future.”

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