School meals scoop award 

School meals award
Councillor Akhtar Zaman, with school pupil Harry Speakman and school meals marketing admin assistant Sharon Russell

Bolton Council has scooped a national award in the school meals’ industry equivalent of the Oscars.

The authority saw off UK-wide competition to win the Education Catering Marketing award in the Awards for Excellence, arranged by the Local Authority Caterers' Association (LACA).

The award is another for the school meals team, who won Most Improved Performance in Education Catering in January and won Catering Business of the Year 2010.

Judges were impressed by the campaigns that the team has been involved in to try and encourage take-up of school lunches.

Schools are encouraged to run local promotions on national campaigns such as British Food Fortnight and National School Meals week.

Parents have also been encouraged to try out dinners as part of the ‘Take the School meals test’ campaign. School chefs used the kitchen in the market to show how meals are prepared.

Special menus are also arranged to tie in with themed events. For instance a menu featuring dishes made with sustainable fish was available in schools in September as part of a worldwide seafood lunch.

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, said: "We are really pleased to have been recognised at these national awards. Running fun campaigns helps to encourage children to eat a healthy, tasty school meal.

"Figures show that in primary schools, more than two-thirds of pupils are tucking into lunches and in secondary schools around half of pupils are. These figures are well above the national averages."

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