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Bangers prove popular as pupils taste Manx produce 12 November 2010

SCHOOLCHILDREN have been getting a taste of local produce during the first Manx School Meals Week (November 8-12).

Chris Wilson, Schools Catering Manager, said: ‘The week has proved to be a great opportunity for primary school pupils to try local foods they may not have experienced before.’ Manx School Meals Week

Fledgling local company Apple Orphanage collected apples picked by parents and returned them to schools as freshly-pressed juice.

‘As well as the apple juice, we have had mushrooms grown locally at Greeba, some unusual Manx cheeses from Isle of Man Creamery’s extensive range of cheddars and Manx kippers,’ Mr Wilson said.

The School Meals Service serves half a million meals a year to primary school children at a cost of £1.85 a day. Menus change each term and offer plenty of healthy fare. More than half of primary children now enjoy a school meal.

‘We are trying to use more local produce where practical as we are fortunate on the Isle of Man to have some outstandingly good quality local produce,’ Mr Wilson said.
‘Some of the foods, such as Manx mushrooms, don’t just add interest and flavour to dishes but are packed with useful trace nutrients that play an important part in a healthy, balanced diet. Getting children used to these foods at an early age makes the job of encouraging them to have a healthy diet so much easier.’

Manx School Meals Week coincided with National School Meals Week in the UK.

‘I would like to thank all the suppliers for their help and aim to make next year’s week an even bigger event,’ Mr Wilson said.

The week culminated in the children choosing what they would like on the menu and, you’ve guessed it, the most popular dish proved to be Manx sausages from local butchers.

For more information on school meals, visit http://www.gov.im/education/support/smcs/

Photo: Will Faulds and Charlotte Traynor of local company Apple Orphanage, visit Marown School today (Friday) with a delivery of fresh apple juice after parents collected apples. They are pictured with Headteacher Carol Walsh.

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