Leeds: ProVeg helps 182 primary schools offer more sustainable meals
January 17, 2020
City-wide plans to help combat climate change means 182 primary schools in Leeds are to offer vegan-friendly options to make their school meals more sustainable.
ProVeg has advised school food provider Catering Leeds, whose remit covers 182 primary schools across the city, on how to trial “environmentally friendly” school dinners in an attempt to help reduce the city’s carbon footprint. A report, which went before Leeds City councillors this week, suggested this could mean pupils enjoy “even healthier meals with extra vegetable content” and proposes one non-meat day and one vegetarian day each week.
The plans would also see vegan dishes introduced to school lunch menus, with more vegetables included in main dishes and ‘even desserts’.
The scheme is aimed at halving carbon emissions in the city by 2020, which also includes doubling the authority’s fleet of electric vehicles and switching to renewable energy.
The report added that extra raw vegetables should be available for children who want them, claiming: “Pupils have a rainbow of salad, vegetables and raw veg sticks to choose from, and often prefer raw vegetables to cooked. Serving raw vegetables helps to reduce energy consumption, while helping children to enjoy their five-a-day.”
It follows research done by Leeds City Council, which found that 84 out of 88 young children surveyed would “not object” to having one meat free day per week to reduce their carbon footprint.
The menus, said to be “already receiving a thumbs up” from pupils during trials are being finalised in consultation with schools.
At this stage ProVeg has helped to swap around 2.3m meals per year to more climate friendly plates, with many more in the pipeline for 2020.