Schools across Cambridgeshire have put healthy, sustainable food firmly on their menus by achieving awards from the national Soil Association Food for Life programme.
The schools were recognised with a bronze award for their outstanding work to transform the meals provided to children and food education.
Schools included Shirley Community Nursery and Primary School in Cambridge, Over Primary School, Rackham C of E Primary School, Witchford and Fourfields Community Primary School, Yaxley.
The joint celebration in Ely highlighted the hard work of Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City schools. Attending were schools, school caterers, in-house cooks and specially invited guests. Those schools that have achieved their bronze awards will now be working towards their Silver awards. This will include improving the school lunchtime experience, setting up cooking clubs using produce grown in school and involving parents and the wider community in food education events using healthy, ethical and local ingredients.
Students and staff attended a fun-filled day of celebrations and learning activities, including food inspired art, butter making and learning about UK grown pulses and dairy farming. Cambridge FoodCycle Hub provided a delicious celebratory lunch, using surplus produce that would otherwise have been wasted.
Food for Life Cambridgeshire Programme Manager, Carrie Bewick, said: "Pupils, teachers and caterers have worked hard to involve and inspire the wider school community, supporting children to make healthy eating choices and embed a positive food culture in school. Celebrating their successes is an integral element of Food for Life and our events enable ideas to be shared and enthuse others to make positive progress."
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council added: "It is brilliant to see four local schools achieve their award and join other Cambridgeshire awarded schools. This was an opportunity to recognise schools' commitment to food education and healthy eating. Caterers and the wider school community were also celebrated for their important role in improving pupil's food choices and knowledge."
Food for Life, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council's Public Health Directorate, has been supporting the transformation of food culture across the county for three years, with schools and Early Years settings invited to enrol on the programme.
For more information, visit wwwfoodforlife.org.uk