HEALTHIER school lunches are on the menu for Doncaster pupils after the council won a £200,000 grant to train school cooks.
The money from the School Food Trust is to fund a state-of-the-art training kitchen at Doncaster College to boost the skills of the borough's kitchen staff and teach them how to cook healthy meals in line with new legislation.
In September, new nutrient-based meal standards came into force for all primary schools and they will be rolled-out in secondary schools next year.
Teaming up with Doncaster Primary Care Trust and Doncaster College to form the Doncaster School FEAST Partnership, Doncaster is the latest authority to receive the money from the trust - a government body set up in 2005 to transform school food.
The new facilities at The Hub will include a demonstration theatre and will be large enough to train 16 cooks at once.
Initially, it will provide catering training to all local schools as well as educating other community sectors and businesses on issues such as healthy diets, healthy living and food and hygiene.
Mayor Martin Winter said: "To receive this funding is a fantastic achievement, not only for the borough, but one that will ultimately benefit catering staff across the whole of South Yorkshire.
"This new partnership will enable us to build on our existing school meal training programme and help raise standards of quality even further."
Acting chief executive of Doncaster PCT, Christine Boswell, said: "We are keen to see Doncaster's young people enjoy a healthy diet from an early age so I am delighted this new partnership will support our drive to keep youngsters young, fit and healthy."
A Doncaster College spokesman added: "The college is delighted to be a partner in this innovative project and be delivering the training to some of Doncaster's unsung heroes."
Cookery writer Prue Leith, chair of The School Food Trust, said: "School cooks are the unsung heroes – they are responsible for feeding millions of children every day and play a key role in the health and well-being of the future generation of adults. I am delighted Doncaster is leading the way in nurturing the school cooks of the future."
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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