Caterers awarded healthy accolade
School catering staff across West Lothian are serving up success, as the council achieves the Food for Life Served Here award for its fresh and healthy school meals
West Lothian Council celebrated its success in achieving the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Served Here award for its primary school meals with a presentation ceremony at St John Ogilvie RC Primary School on Monday.
Sarah Duley from Food for Life Scotland presented the award plaque to Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan and catering staff from West Lothian, many of whom have been working towards the award for almost a year.
The Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life Scotland programme has been running since 2008 with the aim of supporting councils to get more Scottish food onto school dinner plates and serve healthy, sustainable meals.
The Food for Life Served Here award 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.
West Lothian Council is the twelfth local authority in Scotland to achieve the Soil Association’s prestigious Food for Life Served Here award.
It now serves 8600 Food for Life certified meals every day across its 66 primary schools.
Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan, chair of the West Lothian Community Planning Partnership, said: “We are delighted to receive the Food for Life Bronze award in recognition of all the hard work taking place to improve the lunches we provide our schools children.
“As well as helping our children to a healthier and more sustainable diet, it also delivers clear benefits for the local economy.
“West Lothian food producers can be proud that their fresh products are ending up on the dinner plates of local school children, which is good news for everyone.”
Matthew Baxter, West Lothian Council’s interim facilities and support services manager, said: “School lunches are the main source of food during the daytime for pupils, so it’s important to get it right.
“Our previous menu was fully compliant with required nutritional standards, but the Food for Life programme has helped us go above and beyond that with a focus on locally sourced, in season ingredients, which are unprocessed and freshly prepared.
“Catering staff are passionate about feeding pupils a healthy, balanced diet.
“The enthusiasm of the staff for the Food for Life scheme has been fantastic to see. Cooking more food from scratch makes the most of their skills, and achieving the Bronze Food for Life Served Here award means that their talent and dedication has been recognised.”
Sarah Duley, Food for Life Scotland programme manager, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the caterers of West Lothian Council towards their Food for Life Served Here award.
“Their commitment to taking a fresh look at school menus to increase fresh produce and local sourcing has really paid off with an award-winning, sustainable primary meals service.
“This award is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved, from the catering staff to the councillors.
“Huge congratulations to West Lothian on this fantastic achievement.”