New Campaign To Get Kids To Eat School Dinners
PUBLISHED: 09:49 06 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage more youngsters to stay to school dinners following a mass exodus after television chef, Jamie Oliver, rubbished them on national TV. Jamie led a campaign, which he took to the Prime Minister, to expose the junk f
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage more youngsters to stay to school dinners following a mass exodus after television chef, Jamie Oliver, rubbished them on national TV.
Jamie led a campaign, which he took to the Prime Minister, to expose the junk food served up on school menus across the country.
It led to one million youngsters being pulled out of school dining rooms across Cambridgeshire.
"There was a definite connection between the profile of Jamie Oliver's campaign and the take up of school meals in the county," said a Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman.
"There was a perception that all school dinners were full of junk and that had a huge effect. Cambridgeshire school dinners have never contained junk food and never will.
"Before the programmes, we had a good record of take-up and we are hoping to increase numbers to the figures we had before."
Campaign organisers want to encourage an extra 10 pupils a day to sign up for a school meal - a total of 361,000 a year over the next three years. This will increase take up to 45 per cent at the end of the period.
Cambridgeshire Catering Services - part of Cambridgeshire County Council - has launched the 10 out of 10 campaign.
Currently, it provides school meals to 190 Cambridgeshire primary schools.
The present take up averages 11,600 dinners a day - just 31 per cent of children - adding up to 2.2 million school meals a year.
Each school will be urged to develop its own promotions and strategies to encourage youngsters to eat school dinner, rather than promoting countywide programmes.
Most of the fresh meat, poultry and sausages served in schools meals in Cambridgeshire come from producers within East Anglia. Fresh vegetables and fruits are sourced locally wherever possible, and a wide variety of vegetarian dishes are available everyday. Many special diets can be catered for with the help of medical advice.
Councillor Jill Tuck, Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet member for children and young people's services said: "This is an excellent campaign, and one I would encourage all parents to support. Cambridgeshire can be proud of the school meals it produces - both the quality and variety on offer. They provide the healthy balance so vital to children's diets today.