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WHY WE ALL NEED TO SUPPORT SCHOOL FOOD By Jamie Oliver, July 2013 Those of you with a good memory will hopefully remember my Channel 4 series, School Dinners, which was on TV eight years ago. As a result, every newspaper, including this one, supported my call for better school food for every child in this country. The Government at the time bowed to the public pressure and agreed to invest a considerable amount of money in the school food system, and most importantly, created standards for the quality of school food. They mean that for the 190 days of the year that kids are at school, they’ll get a tasty, nutritious meal, regardless of what they’re eating elsewhere. There’s evidence that things have really improved for many kids and the School Food Standards are to thank for that. Of course, there are many schools that have already worked really hard to establish a fantastic food service, but there is a lot of work still to be done to make sure every child in Britain is included. Since 2005, my food foundation has worked hard behind the scenes to keep the momentum up and develop different ways to help schools do better when it comes to our children’s food. We’re working on an educational vegetable-box programme that’s already working well in around 30 schools up and down the UK, with plans for more. We’re also piloting our Kitchen Garden Project – an exciting, hands-on food education programme that brings food knowledge and cooking skills to life, teaching kids how to grow fresh fruit and veg and to cook themselves from scratch. This is supported with easy lesson plans for teachers of kids aged four to 11. Our aim is to plant the seed early for positive eating habits that will last a lifetime. Basically we kept working away so that when the right time came about, we’d be ready and able to help schools and kids so that not one single child gets left behind when it comes to food education. That time is now. Over the last few years, it’s true that I’ve been critical of the Government for what I see as failing our children. However, this week I’m happy to support the broad points in the School Food Plan, which has been put together by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. They’ve spent a busy year talking to everyone   1  

Why we need to support school food by Jamie Oliver

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