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Council / Freshly prepared school food helps council bag award

Catering staff at the Scalloway School (L to R): Cathy Mann, Susan McKay, Aja Jarboe, Leanne Smith and Lisa Jamieson. Photo: SIC

SHETLAND Islands Council has been recognised for the quality of its school meals with a bronze ‘Food for Life’ award.

The menu in local schools is calculated to be 96 per cent freshly prepared – one of the highest levels in Scotland.

The Food for Life Scotland programme is run by Soil Association Scotland, recognising schools that serve freshly prepared, healthy meals, made using locally produced and sustainable ingredients.

Thirty-one school sites across Shetland, including early-years settings and primary and secondary schools, are now serving almost 2,000 freshly prepared hot meals every day.

The council is the 17th local authority in Scotland to achieve a ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award and one of only a few to hold the award across all its education settings.

The award requires 75 per cent of dishes on the menu to be classed as freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients.

Shetland Islands Council said it works closely with local suppliers to source local produce for school meals.

Meat is provided by two Shetland-based companies, Hughson Brothers and JW Gray, fresh fish is supplied by Blydoit Fish Ltd and milk is supplied by Shetland Farm Dairies.

Island bakeries provide bread for schools and vegetables are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.

Chair of the council’s education and families committee George Smith said: “This is well-deserved recognition for the work done by our school catering staff who provide healthy and nutritious meals in our schools and early years settings across the isles.”

Sarah Duley, head of food at Soil Association Scotland, said: “Food for Life Scotland is delighted to recognise Shetland Islands Council’s ongoing commitment to serving fresh, local produce in their school meals.”