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Fresh Success
Friday 28th November, 2008

The borough’s health and wellbeing agenda is once again being celebrated on the national stage.
MetroFresh, Wigan Council’s award winning school meals and caretaking service, has been shortlisted for yet another national award.

Set up only a year ago, the catering and cleaning team have just been given notice of success in the prestigious Local Government Chronicle awards.

Strategic manager Debbie Clarke is delighted. She says: “It is very exciting to be shortlisted at our first attempt. This plaudit comes only weeks after we were voted the best council caterers in the country, and is a real tribute to the passion of our dedicated team.”

Healthy school meals form the centre of MetroFresh’s work, which also includes catering for civic and private functions, building cleaning and managing the school crossing patrol service. They provide over 17,000 meals every day in the borough in more than 100 primary and special schools and 17 secondary schools.

Debbie adds: “The chance to show the nation what we in Wigan Borough are achieving is great news. Encouraging more and more children to take up school dinners is something we are very proud of.”

Debbie’s submission to the judges stated that they have seen a staggering 100 per cent increase in the number of young people now taking school meals in a number of schools in the borough and a high level of public awareness for the healthy food agenda which they are trying to achieve. Wigan Borough has a nine per cent higher take up of high school dinners than anywhere else in the country.

MetroFresh has now trained virtually its entire front line staff in nutritional awareness, and reduced ‘food to fork’ miles by sourcing more products locally. Demonstrating to parents the importance of a balanced school meal and diet is also seen as an important outcome in the government’s ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda.

The list of finalists for the LGC awards will be announced next month and the judges have praised nominees for the “superb number of entries” and MetroFresh’s “fantastic achievement.”

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