Best Practice

Driving school meal take-up

There is more to the School Food Plan than universal free school meals. Jo Wild reports on a government-funded project offering support to boost school meal take-up

You could be forgiven for thinking that the recent campaign on school food had put all its eggs in one proverbial basket, that of Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). While that is what has grabbed the majority of headlines, the reality is far different.

In the summer of 2013, restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent produced the School Food Plan, a simple and ground-breaking review of school food. There were 16 "actions" from the plan, ranging from improving breakfast clubs to simplifying the school food standards and re-introducing cookery to the curriculum.

In response, the coalition government accepted the review and immediately announced UIFSM, but in truth this is only half the story. Another of the key actions from the plan is support to kickstart an increase in take up of good school food in those schools not eligible for UIFSM support.

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