TV chef presses for better school meals

TV chef Jamie Oliver today delivered a petition to Downing Street today demanding a radical improvement in food standards in schools.

To date, his Feed Me Better online poll has collected nearly 300,000 supporters.

It was set up following the success of his Channel Four programme Jamie’s School Dinners, which saw the chef drumming up healthy meals within a limited budget.

Writing on his website, Oliver says he is keen to see how the Government will respond to his campaign.

“Keep your fingers crossed that all of the news will be good,” he writes.

Oliver is pushing for qualifications for dinner ladies, 50p set side for each meal, and more time for the preparation of meals for children.

On Tuesday, Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said Oliver ought to be knighted for raising attention to the unhealthy foods kids eat for lunch.

He told the NUT conference in Gateshead: “Don’t you think the words ‘Sir Jamie Oliver’ have a certain ring to them?”

The NUT is pushing for the Government to raise the cost of a school dinners from the “pittance” of 37p to one pound.

“The Government’s recognition of the shocking diets of many of our young people is very welcome,” Mr Sinnott said.

“It refuses at the moment to recognise, however, that 37p for a school meal is simply not enough. I call on the Government to commit itself to spending £1 a day on school meals.

“A £1 on the plate should be a campaign slogan that all political parties could sign up to.”