Jamie Oliver Protests Cuts in School Meal Services

Jamie Oliver, a popular British chef and TV food guru, recently met with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to voice concerns over initiatives to help improve nutrition in the UK.

Mr. Oliver raised several points of concern, including the ending of the School Lunch Grant, which has allowed schools to upgrade menus and dining areas. He also brought up Mr. Lansley’s decision to get rid of England’s NHS Primary Care Trusts, as well as the apparently lack of incentives for GPs to help obese people lose weight.

Mr. Oliver and Mr. Lansley also discussed the Ministry of Food cookery skills centres in the north of England. Mr. Oliver also intends on meeting Education Secretary Michael Gove and Children’s Minister Sarah Teather to encourage them to continue supporting health food at schools.

“The last thing we need is for the Government to start dismantling school food standards or to pull the plug on support for the school meal service”, said Jackie Schneider of Sustain, a food campaigners group.

Mr. Oliver began his campaigning for healthier school lunches in 2005, when he launched a television series followed by a healthy eating drive across the country through his Ministry of Food campaign. The campaign set up regional centres that taught people how to cook healthier food.

Mr. Oliver recently launched his Ministry of Food Australia scheme. The campaign will kick off in north-east Queensland, where the Government has offered over four years’ support for the program.