Cooking bus serves up healthy alternatives

Share Button
A cooking bus on its journey to cooking success  © Focus on Food

A cooking bus on its journey to cooking success © Focus on Food/Twitter

A local school is taking part in a national food campaign to help drive up the number of children eating healthy and nutritious school dinners.

The Focus Food Cooking Bus will be arriving at the Gateacre School on Hedgefield Road today and will spend four days giving expert cookery sessions for pupils, teaching staff, caterers and school cooks.

The bus can hold up to 16 people a session and is fully equipped with state-of-the art kit to bring the fun and interest back into cooking.

Gerard Lonergan, Head teacher at Gateacre School, said: “Food is such an important part of our life, supporting our health and culture and the way we live together. We are delighted to welcome the food bus to Gateacre to add to our enjoyment and experience.”

The programme, which is funded by the Department of Education is an important initiative to increase the take up of school meals. This comes as a result of an independent review of school dinners, which found that in some schools up to 73% of pupils eligible for a free school meal skipped this for an alternative.

Merseyside schools are able to apply for a free package of support worth over £2,000 to increase the number of meals eaten by pupils and improve their lunchtime experience.

The ‘Increase Your School Meal Take Up’ programme is delivered by the Food for Life Partnership, which comprises of up to six training events for school leaders and caterers.

Former school cook and co-founder of the Food for Life Partnership, Jeanette Orrey MBE, said: “With free support and training on offer there is no better time to put great food at the heart of your school and reap the rewards across the school day.”

Councillor for Wavertree James Roberts, who is a former pupil at Gateacre School, told JMU Journalism: “Liverpool has some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and other weight-related illnesses in the country.

“It’s important to get in early with teaching young people the importance of healthy cooking and eating, which is why the visit of the cooking bus to Gateacre is so important.”

About Melissa McFarlane, JMU Journalism