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Sodexo scoops award for climate-friendly school dinners

Sodexo UK & Ireland’s Schools business has been awarded Bronze in the ProVeg School Plates Awards – a national accreditation scheme acknowledging exceptional school menus.

The Awards recognise caterers serving the healthiest and most climate-friendly school meals across the UK. Sodexo caters for over 50 schools across England, Scotland and Wales, and is the latest major caterer to receive an award for its outstanding menus.

To be eligible for an award, caterers must take various steps to promote plant-based school meals, which produce significantly less carbon than meat-based dishes. The dishes must also be nutritionally-balanced and, of course, tasty, while also encouraging children to opt for more sustainable choices at lunchtime.

Sodexo’s primary and secondary schools are serving a range of attractive and delicious, plant-based dishes, including Carnitas Rancheros, Rustic Farmhouse Potato Hash, Sweet Potato Vada Pav and Butterbean & Meatball Pasta.

Steve Hawkins, Managing Director, State Schools, from Sodexo, said: “At Sodexo we are committed to providing quality meals whilst reducing carbon emissions and food waste across our entire schools portfolio.

“It is imperative that children across the country can access tasty, healthy and nutritious food whilst also understanding its impact on the climate, so they are empowered to make informed decisions about what they eat.”

Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK, the non-profit organisation behind the awards, said: “To be giving an award to Sodexo, one of the country’s biggest contract caterers, sends a strong message that this is the direction public sector food is heading – and we’re seeing it accelerate fast in schools.

“Caterers are understanding that plant-based food fosters healthier habits in children and plays a pivotal role in safeguarding their future. We are delighted to see such a major caterer committing to promoting healthier and more climate-friendly food in schools, and look forward to working with more contract caterers as they follow suit.”

Animal agriculture is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and by creating innovative and delicious meat-free options, schools are setting an excellent example of climate leadership.

So far, ProVeg UK has helped thousands of schools to create healthier and more sustainable menus by turning millions of school dinners meat-free or plant-based. The non-profit organisation offers free menu consultancy, training, and recipe development services, and their awards scheme is open to all UK school caterers.

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