The Meat Voucher Scheme has been developed by Quality Meat Scotland to ensure tight budgets do not result in teachers in many Scottish schools being unable to afford fresh red meat products for use in cookery lessons.
After a successful regional pilot of the scheme, the Meat Voucher Scheme is now being rolled out nationally and is part of Quality Meat Scotland’s health and education work to educate young people on the role red meat can play in a healthy diet.
The initiative offers home economics teachers meat vouchers up to the value of £100, depending on school roll size, to exchange for beef, lamb and pork. Schools will be able to redeem their vouchers at independent retailers and butchers who are members of the Scotch Butchers Club.
“Lean red meat not only tastes good but is a great source of protein, b-vitamins iron and zinc,” said independent dietician, Dr Carrie Ruxton, an expert in children’s diets.
“And, with more than a third of youngsters in Scotland lacking in iron, red meat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.
“One of the reasons why children and teenagers reach for less healthy options is a lack of cooking skills – and this persists in adulthood. I am very supportive of initiatives, such as the Meat Voucher Scheme, which help children to access high quality food and learn how to use it to create nutritious, simple meals.”
Today’s launch was also the first unveiling of two characters called “The Proteens” who have been created by QMS to help communicate the role of red meat in a healthy diet to youngsters.
“We hope this fun pair who love cooking - will help inspire young people to think about the benefits of good nutrition and how simple it can be to make delicious and healthy meals,” said Rachael Anderson, QMS Health and Education Coordinator.
Meat Vouchers will be available to home economics teachers across Scotland until November 30th and will be valid until February 14th 2011. As well as a voucher the schools will also receive a support pack including recipe books and aprons.
To apply for a voucher teachers should contact Rachael Anderson, QMS Health and Education Coordinator on 0131 472 4041 or visit www.qmscotland.co.uk for more information.