The canteen at Boorowa Central School has become one of the first canteens in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to meet the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy Food and Drink Benchmark.
The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy Food and Drink Benchmark requires the canteen menu to offer a minimum of 75 per cent ‘everyday’ food and drinks and a maximum of 25 per cent ‘occasional’ food and drinks, which need to have a Health Star rating of 3.5 stars or above.
The Benchmark is a strategy led by the Department of Education in partnership with MLHD. The aim is to have the Food and Drink Benchmark implemented across all public schools in NSW by the end of the year.
For several months, Boorowa Central School Canteen Manager Sam Pye has been providing a new healthy and tasty menu. “Since finding out about the new strategy, I have spent hours sourcing canteen-approved products. It has been a lot of work but very worthwhile. The new healthy options are becoming increasingly popular,” said Ms Pye.
Principal of Boorowa Central School Paula Hambly said, “Without Sam’s enthusiasm and effort, we would not be anywhere near meeting the strategy. Sam has been proactive and spent a lot of her own time designing a new menu that is both healthy and remains profitable and popular among the students.”
Working with Ms Pye on the strategy has been local MLHD Health Promotion Officer Barb Manwaring. Over the past 18 months, Ms Manwaring has been working with local school canteens, assisting them to meet the new benchmark. Ms Manwaring said, “Sam is one of the leaders in around 130 school canteens in the Murrumbidgee to meet the strategy, so I am particularly proud of her efforts. Sam has demonstrated that it is possible to have a healthy and profitable canteen. Boorowa Central School is very fortunate to have Sam as their Canteen Manager”.
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