Cater­ers awarded healthy ac­co­lade

West Lothian Courier - - News -

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.”

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