Jamie Oliver to invest millions of pounds improving food education at schools

20 April 2010 by
Jamie Oliver to invest millions of pounds improving food education at schools

Jamie Oliver plans to spend millions of pounds of his own money in a bid to improve food education and meals in primary schools, he has revealed.

The healthy eating champion said he would set aside a percentage of profits from each of his companies to create a funding pot that would be used to create "a mechanism of food that the schools can bid for".

Speaking to the BBC, Oliver said that, although plans were at an early stage, he hoped the scheme where individual schools could bid for "literally hundreds of thousands of pounds" would provide a model for government policy. The cash would go towards building gardens, new kitchens, seeds and fruit trees as well as teaching collateral including web sites, DVDs and conferences.

He added that he would supply mentors to provide full educational support and that he hoped to begin the scheme with 20-40 schools a year, rising to between 80 and 100, eventually introducing the project to 1,000 or 5% of primary schools.

"It only takes 2% to change anything. We'll use that private, entrepreneurial, idea - that is obsessed by relevance and making a true, real tangible change to children and their parents - to then come up with a model. And we'll say to government, ‘now I've proved it - let's do it'."

He added: "It'll work, just give me 10 years."

It was reported this week that Oliver will appear in 22nd place on The Times Giving List, which estimates he has given £2.7m to charity. His Fifteen restaurants support a charitable foundation which funds chef apprenticeships for disadvantaged young people.

Support our School Meals Matter campaign here >>

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By Janie Stamford

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