Catering services achieves winning Veg-O-Meter score Untitled

Posted on Monday 23rd May 2022

In the first live ceremony for two years, the Food Foundation’s executive director Anna Taylor presented awards to the seven category winners of the 2022 Peas Please Prizes at a ceremony in the Yorkshire heartland of Leeds.

Singled out for special mention was Blackpool Council’s Catering Services which scooped the Veg-O-Meter prize for achieving a winning 171% increase in the number of vegetable portions served, as well as dramatically boosting the quantity of vegetables served in children’s school holiday meals.

 “We are thrilled to see Blackpool Council Catering services increase their veg procured by a whopping 171% in the past year compared to 2019/20,” said Indu Gurung, Peas Please Project Manager.  “They did this by implementing new menus that included more veg and by including more vegetables in the meals they provide during school holidays. We’re really impressed by their progress and feel that they have set an excellent standard that others may be able to follow.” 

“As a team we are very proud to be awarded the Veg-O-Meter prize for the work we have done to improve nutrition across schools we cater for in Blackpool,” said Cllr Gillian Campbell, cabinet Member for Inclusion, Youth & Transience at Blackpool Council. “School meals are so important now more than ever and we are dedicated to improving health and nutrition across our town through our school catering service.”

Now in its fourth reporting year the initiative has over 100 pledgers representing 92% of the retail food market who have all made pledges to promote and encourage people to eat more veg.  

The seven awards all celebrate the achievements of imaginative businesses that are leading the way with schemes to drive up vegetable consumption.

Since the Peas Please campaign launch in 2017 food industry supporters have delivered an additional 636 million portions of vegetables into food systems across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But the 2021 Peas Please progress report released at the end of last year, shows a serious deficit in veg consumption, with less than a quarter of adults eating enough vegetables a day, and almost a third of children eating less than the equivalent of one portion a day.

Research has shown that such poor diets are linked to almost 18,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

“We are delighted by the huge growth in industry support for the Peas Please project,” said Food Foundation executive director Anna Taylor. “More and more businesses are recognising they have a crucial role in tackling the poor nutrition crisis which is causing an epidemic of obesity and ill health. It has been a particular pleasure and a privilege to work with the forward-thinking organisations that have won this year’s prizes.

Posted on Monday 23rd May 2022

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