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Mayor launches Good Food Training for London

The Mayor of London and the London Development Agency (LDA) yesterday announced a new training programme to help tackle childhood obesity with a pioneering scheme that will promote healthy school dinners.

It is similar to the Schools FEAST network launched nationwide earlier this month but the LDA scheme will also provide training for other public sector caterers working in hospitals and with the homeless and the elderly.

The programme – Good Food Training for London – is delivered by Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA), working in a unique partnership with Sustain -The Alliance for Better Food and Farming, Lewisham College and Greenwich Teaching Primary Care Trust. It is part of the Mayors London Food Strategy, Healthy and Sustainable Food for London, which was launched in 2006. The Strategy identifies food preparation and cooking for public consumption as a high priority.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: Food is an essential part of everyday living that can easily be taken for granted, yet the effects of our food habits are increasingly clear. Obesity levels are rising and many people dont have easy access to healthy and nutritious food. These free training courses will help catering staff working in the public sector to promote heathly diets, where possible using seasonal, locally-sourced food.

Launching the programme at Marlborough School in Bexley, Jenny Jones, Chair of London Food and London Assembly Member, said: “This project will improve the health of the staff, children, patients and all those who rely on vital public services for good quality meals everyday. As well as better health, the effects will be far-ranging, from increased skills among our workforce, benefits to the environment and boosting the London economy by supporting London businesses and building strong local and regional supply chains.”

The training will run until October 2009, with courses designed to suit all levels of skills across areas such as procurement, nutrition, preparation and service. Training ranges from 2 day short courses covering knife skills, customer service, menu planning, 12 week LOCN accredited cookery club tutor training to full NVQ Level 2.

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