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School's dinners praised at organic food awards

23 November 2004

A Bath primary school has won the best school dinners title at the Soil Association's Organic Food Awards 2004.

Southdown Infants' School was praised for its commitment to using fresh ingredients, at a special ceremony held yesterday (3 November) at the Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Berkshire.

The judging panel, which included chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Giorgio Locatelli, said Southdown had demonstrated a holistic attitude to school dinners, which included educating pupils about food through farm trips to local suppliers.

Head teacher Gill Culley said of the school's decision to opt out of council-run catering provision three years ago: "It was challenging to start, but today we're delivering better quality food to the children and have greater flexibility in how we do this."

Southdown uses mostly organic food, with fresh vegetables and meat traceable back to the farms. Ingredient meal spend is 75p per day per child, compared with the national average of 42p. Despite this, meal costs remain in line with the national school average of £1.40 and two-thirds of the pupils eat school dinners.

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