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Schools across Scotland thinking ‘fresh, healthy and local’.
All schools across Scotland should make every effort to think 'fresh, healthy and local' in sourcing meals for pupils, Ministers for Learning Dr Alasdair Allan has said on International School Meals Day.
Dr Allan outlined the Scottish Government's support for sustainability and local suppliers as he visited Penicuik High School, which views sustainability as a priority.
At the school, Dr Allan met staff who outlined the local commitment shared by Penicuik High and local primary schools to embed the principles of Better Eating, Better Learning, which was published last year to support school-led improvements in school food and food education.
Pupils from S1 to S6 are involved in a range of activities aimed at improving food awareness and education, including cooking, meal planning, gardening and enterprise. The school also sources produce from suppliers based in the local community.
The Scottish Government has provided more than £4 million from 2010-16 to support food education in schools to ensure pupils understand more about the food they eat, how it impacts on their health and on the environment and highlight careers in the industry.
Dr Allan said:
"Here at Penicuik High and in local primary schools, terrific work is ongoing that perfectly illustrates the theme of this year's International School Meals Day. It's clear to see that the work being undertaken by the Penicuik cluster is contributing to pupils learning about the importance of good food choices to their overall health and wellbeing.
"Lots of schools across Scotland are doing similar great things and it's in every school's interests to find ways of making sure sustainability is at the heart of meal provision. We are very proud of our model of school food provision and food education and Penicuik is at the heart of good things happening in Midlothian.
"School lunches are hugely important in supporting a pupil's ability to learn and this Government is proud to be supporting schools to provide healthy and delicious meals for pupils. Last year we were proud to introduce free school meals for all P1-3 pupils, saving parents of every eligible child £380, and we will continue to support schools to help pupils make fresh, healthy and local food choices."
International School Meals Day is taking place worldwide on Thursday, 03 March. Find out more here:
Find out more about the Scottish Government's free school meals policy here:
Better Eating, Better Learning offers further guidance on how to provide nutritionally balanced and sustainable school food and drink. Find out more here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/1606