Plant-based foods company Meatless Farm has teamed up with non profit organisation ProVeg’s School Plates programme, to make school meals more sustainable through the Green School Menu League competition, which launches today.
Thirteen-year-old Omari McQueen, the UK’s youngest award-winning vegan chef, author of two plant-based cookbooks and host of CBBC show, What’s Cooking Omari? will also take part in the initiative.
As part of the Green School Menu League, schools across the UK will compete by proving they have the greenest menus. The programme aims to educate and inspire students to eat more plant-based, sustainable meals.
By taking part in the competition, schools have the chance to win £2500, which can be used to improve their sustainable eating programme, £2500 worth of Meatless Farm products, a cooking masterclass from Omari McQueen at the prize-winning school, as well as a vegan cooking workshop for the school caterers hosted by ProVegUK.
The 10 runners up will also receive a starter pack of Meatless Farm goods to help them introduce more plant-based meals onto their menus.
Managing Director of Meatless Farm UK and Ireland, Michael Hunter, said: “The Green School Menu League celebrates making school menus more sustainable and educating children on the benefits of eating more plant-based meals. We believe growing a more meatless generation is critical to health and the future of our planet. Making small sustainable changes such as making one or two meals with plant-based meat won’t have a significant impact on taste but can make a big difference in reducing the environmental impact of food.”
The ProVegUK School Plates programme started in 2018, and has brought more than 4.6M plant-based meals to schools throughout the UK.
Director of ProVeg UK, Jimmy Pierson, said: “We care passionately about the food we serve to school children. We want them to thrive, nourished by good food they love and is great for the planet. That’s why we’ve joined forces with Meatless Farm to encourage schools to raise the bar higher, to push themselves to make school food as healthy and sustainable as they can – for their pupils and for the planet. We find that even the smallest of menu changes can have a big impact, and look forward to reviewing all the entries.”
The Green School Menu League is also part of Meatless Farm’s ‘For Kids By Kids’ campaign, which aims to educate more children on eating sustainably by 2023.
A recent survey from One Poll showed that 44% of parents wanted to see more vegan meals available in schools.
Omari McQueen, said: “We should all know where our food comes from and how it is sourced so we understand the environmental impact of our food, which helps everyone to make better eating choices. I can’t wait to see what sustainable school meals are currently being served and hope to inspire more delicious plant-based dishes!”
Schools are invited to apply with their current menus until 25 March 2022. The menus will be judged by Meatless Farm, and Omari McQueen, and will need to be in line with ProVegUK’s School Plates programme guidelines. The winner will be revealed in mid-April.