QMS embarks on school meat voucher scheme

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is due to open applications for a scheme that will offer meat vouchers to Scottish secondary schools, after concerns have been raised over tight budgets.

Secondary schools will be offered vouchers worth up to £100, which can be exchanged for top-quality meat such as Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork at local retailers.

The initiative will help pupils learn how to cook quick, tasty and healthy meals and was first implemented because schools could not afford to buy fresh, red meat for cookery lessons.

Last year saw 290 secondary schools taking part, which was an increase of 20% from the previous year.

Dietician and QMS’ health and education coordinator Jennifer Robertson said: “Lean red meat not only tastes good, but is a great source of protein, B-vitamins, iron and zinc. With more than a third of Scotland’s young people lacking in iron, red meat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

A new poll this week revealed that more than half of Scots rely on ready meals or takeaways at least three times a week, and that fewer than a third of people of working age cook for themselves every night.

“These poll results emphasise the need to educate Scottish secondary school pupils, who are the consumers of the future, on the range of ingredients available to them, as well as showing them how to cook simple, nutritious meals that need not cost the earth,” said Robertson.

Home economics teachers should apply for their voucher before 1 December, which will be redeemable at independent retailers and butchers until 1 February 2014.


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