Thursday, January 22, 2009

What would you put in the labour party manifesto about school dinners?

The labour party has invited lots of charities to an event to discuss how it is planning to have a 'conversation' with lots of small groups and individual campaigners about what should be in the next manifesto. Clearly it has well established policy channels which it is not planning to overturn but Ed Miliband is keen to engage different voices that are not often heard. Therefore he has set up labourspace - a free platform for those who want to flag up ideas using the power of the internet.

Is it worth Merton Parents for Better Food in Schools using this space to ask for "free school meals for those in poverty?" to be included in the manifesto? Maybe we should push a campaign that says "kitchens in every school" I know we have bigger problems to worry about but I am itching to see a manifesto pledge that would abolish prison trays from every school in the land.

How about every child to visit a farm and be inolved in growing projects as part of their food education?

Properly resourced cooking lessons for all secondary school students?

Restricting junk food advertising until after the 9.00pm watershed to protect children from being pestered by the food industry is another obvious ask

I know that the wonderful USA school cook Ann Coopers message to Barrack is basically ' yes you have big problems of war and economic meltdown to worry about so we know we aren't your number one priority BUT what you can do is take school food away from dept of agriculture and give it to education where we can fight to get improvements needed'. I recommend you read her blog as she is more eloquent than that - but you get the picture.

I don't believe we should just talk to the labour party about this. Previous entries here will show how I have also spent time with Tim Laughton and Zac Goldsmith from the conservative party. We need to be talking to every party about how they have it within their gift to guarantee decent, good quality school food for all our children. We need to make sure that food is on the agenda for every politician. We can't rely on them to do it for us but we can make sure that they understand that we need radical change if we are going to overcome the dire health problems facing our citizens and the planet.