Joining forces to bring more good food to the public sector
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands has affirmed Scottish Government’s continued commitment to the Food for Life Scotland programme, recognising every child’s right to a hot, nutritious meal at least once a day.
School meals have an important role to play in our society, and this is truer now than ever as we face a cost-of-living crisis, as well as interconnected climate, nature and health crises. Budgets are tight and local authorities are being forced to make difficult decisions, but serving quality food must remain a priority.
It is vital that we continue to see school food as an investment, beyond cost. An investment that will keep our young people healthy, and that can help to tackle climate change, at the same time as strengthening local economies.
The Food for Life Scotland programme provides a framework through which local authorities can ensure they are serving food that’s good for health, the environment and the economy. This is done by following a set of standards to achieve the Food for Life Served Here Award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.
With more than half of Scotland’s local authorities holding the award already, Scotland is leading the way in pioneering a school meals system that’s fit for the future. This is largely due to the dedication and hard work of catering teams across Scotland.
Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, says, “Scottish Government is committed to providing Scotland’s young people with nutritious, sustainable and locally sourced school meals. As a result, we have renewed our commitment to supporting the Food for Life Scotland programme and the great work they are doing with public sector catering teams.
“We would like to commend local authorities that already hold the Food for Life Served Here Award and urge those that don’t to contact the Food for Life Scotland team and find out about the support available. Scottish Government funds the programme so that local authorities can gain access to assistance with menu development, cost and data analysis, supply chain support and staff training.
“As national and local governments work on their Good Food Nation Plans, the Food for Life Served Here Award provides an important mechanism to ensure the way we source public sector food has a positive impact on communities across Scotland. This contributes to our vision for Scotland as a Good Food Nation, where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they produce, buy, cook, serve and eat each day.
“We hope local authorities will take advantage of the Food for Life Scotland programme and work with us to drive forward a better food system for Scotland.”