Published 16 June 2021

West Dunbartonshire Council’s catering service has been recognised with a national award for their high standard of school meals.

The Council received the bronze Food for Life Served Here award for serving freshly  made school meals from Scottish/UK ingredients, including  sustainably farmed meat and fish, free range eggs as well as produce free from genetically modified ingredients and undesirable additives.

The achievement reinforces the Council’s commitment to providing pupils with nutritionally balanced breakfasts, lunches and snacks and currently applies to the catering service across the Council’s  32 primary schools and 29 early years and  Additional Support Need (ASN) sites.

Meals at West Dunbartonshire schools are created using Scottish produce where possible and are freshly prepared with seasonal ingredients.   The catering teams work closely with suppliers to source fresh, local and sustainable ingredients as part of its Food for Life certified meals.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services and Vice Convener of Educational Services said:In West Dunbartonshire we are very proud to provide a variety of fresh and nutritious meals to our pupils and I am pleased that this has been recognised by the Bronze Food for Life Served Here award. I would like to thank the catering teams who work so hard to ensure such a high quality menu is available each day for our children.

“The food we provide for our young people is extremely important and this programme will support us to continue to provide fresh, locally sourced and sustainable school meals.”

All West Dunbartonshire primary and secondary school meals are fully compliant with the new Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) 2020 regulations which were introduced last month.

School  menu development is currently ongoing in secondary schools so they can also be considered for the Food For Life award. 

The Food for Life Scotland programme is run by Soil Association Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government. It aims to support school catering staff serve freshly prepared meals made from locally produced ingredients that are healthy and sustainable.

Sarah Duley, Head of Food at Soil Association Scotland, said: “Food for Life Scotland works in partnership with local authorities to put fresh, Scottish, seasonal food on school plates across the country. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of school meals and it is heartening to see West Dunbartonshire Council take these steps to benefit local pupils, staff and suppliers even while grappling with unprecedented challenges.

“This Food for Life Served Here award is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. We’re delighted to recognise the Council’s commitment to serving fresh, local produce in their school meals, and we look forward to working with even more of Scotland’s local authorities in the future.”