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New taste for local produce

New research for the Scottish Executive has endorsed the benefits of serving locally produced food in primary schools. A pilot study in East Ayrshire showed that locally produced food increased school meal take-up, raised the quality of ingredients and provided a market for food producers.

It also meant less packaging and less waste. Pupils now wanted even more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Free School Meals Campaign has highlighted the continuing low take-up of school dinners nationally. It said this week that, despite increasing nutritional standards, only half of children in Scotland have a school meal, and a third of those entitled to a free meal don't take them up - often because of the stigma attached.

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