SCHOOL MEALS PLAN NEEDS BEEFED UP SAYS JOHNSTONE
Commenting on the publication of "refreshed guidance" on school meals, Green MSP Alison Johnstone is calling on the Scottish Government to beef up its commitment to improving access to fresh, local food.
"Better Eating, Better Learning" is a revision of advice published in 2003.
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has published Freedom of Information data showing that many school dining facilities are at capacity, and that many schools have no kitchens for fresh food preparation.
She has also shown that Scotland's farmers are losing out, as much of the chicken served in schools is frozen and flown in from as far away as Brazil and Thailand.
Alison Johnstone said:
"It's never been more important to get our children's nutrition right but I'm afraid what has been published today is simply a reheat of old advice. While it’s sound advice what we really need is a commitment to improving schools' access to fresh, local ingredients and a challenging of the unfair buying power of the big four supermarkets.
"We also need to address the serious issue of lack of space in our schools. I fully support the roll out of free lunches to P1, 2 and 3 but we must make it an enjoyable experience, not a cramped feeding frenzy.
"Advice is also being promised to local authorities to help them combat the appeal of junk food beyond the school gates. This was due almost a year ago; it is an issue of great concern to many parents and we await the details with great interest."
Alison's FoI data on school dining capacity and kitchens
Alison's FoI data on sourcing of chicken in school meals
Better Eating, Better Learning. Described as "refreshed guidance to support schools"