Back to school menu for Councillors

The delights of a school dinner lunch are set to be experienced by Councillors after their meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council today (Thursday 25 October).

They are all set to tuck into tasty dishes of home-made vegetable soup, locally sourced pork sausages, mashed potatoes and Scottish peas, pitta filled with falafel, cucumber salad and sweet chilli sauce followed by fresh fruit.

School catering staff from across the city will serve the meals in the City Chambers.

The decision to give Councillors a taste of 21st Century school meals followed discussions at Education, Children and Families around school meals last month.

School meals in Edinburgh have changed dramatically over the last two decades, the introduction of Hungry for Success and the expansion of free school meals to name just two developments.  The Council’s catering service freshly cooks around 18,500 hot meals every day to over 90 schools across the city delivered from 54 production kitchens by over 500 dedicated staff.

The service are committed to sourcing food from Scotland and the UK and use local suppliers for meat, vegetables and milk.   With all fish coming from sustainable sources, all eggs served are free range and meat from QMS or Red Tractor accredited farms.Cutlery

Four years ago the Council became the first local authority in Scotland to achieve the Bronze Catering Mark Award across all its primary, secondary and special schools and in 2016 two pilot schools, Currie High and Buckstone Primary, gained the Silver Catering Mark Award.

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “It’s been almost 40 years since I last sat down for a school dinner so I’m looking forward to sampling Jackie’s homemade meals. It’s a chance for all Councillors to appreciate how far school cooking has come and get to know exactly what ingredients go into the 18,500 hot meals our Council serves to Edinburgh’s youngest residents every day. It’s certainly a far healthier and tastier looking menu than the one I remember!”

Jackie Neilson, the Unit Supervisor in Portobello, is one of the team cooking for Councillors on Thursday and has been with the council for over 23 years.

She said: “I’m extremely proud to work in the school meals service and have the opportunity to provide pupils with a freshly cooked lunch - watching children flourish throughout their time at school is the best part of the job.  I am looking forward to giving the councillors a taste of the meals we serve every day to our pupils!”

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