A nationwide voucher scheme that has helped over 50,000 pupils learn to cook is now open for applications from secondary schools across Scotland.
The Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) Schools Meat Voucher Scheme gives home economics and hospitality classes the opportunity to learn about and cook with locally-sourced Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.
The vouchers, which are worth up to £100, are available to any secondary school across Scotland, and are redeemable at local retailers and members of the Scotch Butchers Club. Teachers are invited to apply for the vouchers via the Health and Education/Schools section at www.qmscotland.co.uk.
The scheme was developed in response to restricted budgets impacting on the opportunities schools are able to provide for young people to learn how to prepare fresh, red meat dishes that are high in nutritious value.
Jennifer Robertson, QMS Health and Education Manager and registered dietician, said: “It’s extremely important that young people are given information as early as possible about the essential nutrients and vitamins they should be consuming and how a balanced diet that includes red meat fits into this. Ensuring this information is communicated forms an essential part of QMS’s health and education work.
“With schools facing restricted budgets we want to do all we can to support teachers in being able to offer an enriching curriculum, and so we’re really proud the scheme has helped thousands of young people learn essential cookery skills.
“It’s also really exciting to see the different ways the vouchers are being used across schools as part of wider projects, from butchery and preparation lessons to food challenges in partnership with local retailers.”
With more than a third of Scotland’s young girls and women lacking in iron, red meat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet and is an essential source of protein, b-vitamins, iron and zinc.
Teachers have been quick to praise the scheme, with Rutherglen High School in Glasgow describing it as a “very beneficial scheme without which we would be unable to afford our project work.”
Using the vouchers, the school is planning a project for pupils to design a meal using Scotch Lamb, as well as designing dishes from different European countries, as part of a cross-curricular project in conjunction with the music department and social studies classes.
Teachers can learn more about the Meat Voucher scheme, as well as the range of activities QMS undertakes to the role of red meat in a healthy balanced diet by visiting www.qmscotland.co.uk or following @ScotchKitchenSc.
The full list of Scotch Butchers Club members can be viewed at www.scotchkitchen.com/scotch-butchers-club