21st October 2015

Olympian Launches QMS Schools Meat Voucher Scheme

Judo Olympian Sarah Clark visited Edinburgh butchers Findlays of Portobello to help launch the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) Schools Meat Voucher Scheme for 2015.

The QMS school voucher initiative aims to support Scottish secondary schools to encourage pupils to learn to cook quick, tasty and healthy meals.

Every secondary school in Scotland is eligible to apply for a voucher worth up to £100 which can be exchanged at local retailers by the school for top quality meat such as Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.

The scheme was developed by QMS in response to concerns that tight budgets mean many Scottish schools are unable to afford fresh, red meat products for cookery lessons and pupils leaving school without the skills to cook simple, healthy meals.

Over 315 secondary schools took part in the initiative last year which is a key component in QMS’s health and education work to ensure people understand the role of red meat in a healthy, balanced diet.

Three times judo Olympian and 2014 Commonwealth champion, Sarah Clark, who launched the initiative, recognises the importance of red meat in a healthy diet.

“During my time as an elite athlete, lean red meat was a very important part of my diet. It contains lots of protein which is used in the body to build and repair muscle and organ tissues and iron which helps form our red blood cells. As an athlete, lean red meat as part of a wide varied diet helped make sure my body had all the nutrients needed for training, competing and recovery.”

Nutritionist Jenni Henderson, QMS Health and Education Executive, said: “We think it is really important to encourage Scottish secondary school pupils to eat well by showing them how to cook simple, nutritious meals which can be made on a budget. The feedback from schools has been fantastic with teachers clearly considering the voucher to be a very valuable resource.”

“Lean red meat not only tastes good, but is a great source of protein, b-vitamins, iron and zinc. With more than a third of Scotland’s young people lacking in iron, red meat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

Home Economics teachers across Scotland should apply for their voucher before 31 December 2015. The vouchers are worth up to £100, depending on the number of pupils on the school roll, and are valid until mid-February 2016. Vouchers can be redeemed at local butchers and retailers.

Home economics teachers can apply for their voucher via the QMS website: www.qmscotland.co.uk by clicking on Health and Education/Schools.

Caption: Billy Hoy from Findlays of Portobello, Judo Champion Sarah Clark and QMS Health and Education Executive Jenni Henderson launch the Schools Meat Voucher Scheme at  Findlays of Portobello. 

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