Schoolchildren, caterers and teachers will be in the driving seat to create healthy school environments with a new three-year project.
We have become part of Food for Life, a national project which promotes healthy and sustainable food in schools.
Food for Life will be working with up to 30 schools each year in Medway, supporting caterers and pupils to design improvements to menus, whilst boosting food education through activities such as hosting school farmers markets with local producers.
Jeanette Orrey, the UK’s most celebrated dinner lady, founded Food for Life in 2009 in her own school kitchen, hoping to give every child in the UK a healthy start in life. Since then, Food for Life has grown into a national scheme that has worked with more than 10,000 schools across the UK.
In Medway the scheme will increase access to healthy and sustainable food by supporting school cooks, and helping children learn how to cook, grow and understand where their food comes from.
Giving young people the best start in life
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “I am pleased that we’ve teamed up with Food for Life to further develop the actions we’re taking to give children and young people the best start in life.
“Food for Life brings teachers, caterers, and food suppliers together to teach young people how to grow their own healthy food in a sustainable way at school. We are committed to providing residents of all ages the tools they need to live healthier lives.
“This exciting project will encourage young people to eat more healthily which they can share with their parents and carers at home. The Food for Life project also supports our aspiration to make Medway even more child-friendly.”
Sustainable and healthy meals
Food for Life Programme Manager, Chloe Smee, said: “We want every child in Medway to have a healthy, sustainable meal at school every day, and to leave school knowing what good food looks like. Knowing how to grow fresh veg and to cook basic meals is a fundamental building block of a healthy life – which every child in Medway has a right to enjoy.”
Schools and caterers in Medway will also be encouraged to source quality ingredients through local food producers, meaning that children won’t be the only ones to benefit.
Working with in-house and external caterers, Food for Life begins by providing healthy, balanced meals. More than 75 per cent of the food is freshly prepared and free from sweeteners and additives. Parents and children are involved in planning school menus, increasing school meal take up so that no child is left behind.