Mayors of Thurrock and Havering celebrate prestigious food awards given to 15 Thurrock and Havering schools

Fifteen Thurrock and Havering schools have won the Food for Life Partnership Bronze Award after serving seasonal school meals cooked by a well-trained school cook. They are also working with the partnership to encourage children to become more connected to the growing and cooking of their food.

Schools in Thurrock and Havering win food award

The Mayors of Thurrock and Havering celebrated the fantastic achievements of schools from their respective boroughs at the prestigious Food for Life Partnership Bronze Award Ceremony on Thursday 1 December. The Award Ceremony, which took place at High House Production Park, recognises schools that have excelled in transforming their food culture and is the first of its kind to be held in the area.

Children and staff from 15 schools across the region attended the ceremony, and were presented with a Bronze Award by Charles Curtis, Mayor of Thurrock. The school’s work with the Food for Life Partnership to transform their food culture and that of their communities by reconnecting children with climate-friendly and healthy food through growing and cooking activities and farm visits. The Food for Life Partnership Bronze Award means that schools have started to serve seasonal school meals with 75% of the dishes being freshly prepared by a well-trained school cook. Pupils and parents are involved in planning improvements to school menus and the dining experience, and every pupil has the opportunity to visit a farm and cook and grow food during his or her time at school.

Headteacher Jo Sawtell at Kenningtons Primary School in Aveley, Essex, says: “Through the support of the Food for Life Partnership team and the achievement of the Bronze Food for Life Partnership Award, we have raised awareness and transformed food culture in the school. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn about the impact of food on health and that of the planet. I hope that the knowledge the children are gaining from this initiative will have an impact on future generations to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Thirteen of the schools are catered for by Thurrock and Havering Catering Services, which has achieved the Food for Life Silver Catering Mark for its meals served to 90 plus schools in Thurrock and Havering. Kevin Hobart, Catering Operations Manager at Thurrock and Havering Catering Services, says: “I’m really pleased that our work to achieve the Food for Life Silver Catering Mark has helped these schools kick off their journey to transform food culture in London & Essex. We would now like to extend this to more of our schools so they can benefit. School food provision should be an integral part of pupils’ education – they learn about animal welfare and local, seasonal food, see it growing and then to eat it as part of their lunch, and they will leave school with a desire to make healthy food choices.”

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting young people with farms and inspiring families to cook and grow food. The initiative is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Soil Association, bringing together the practical expertise of the Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust.

Posted by Lucy Cook

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