Grandad throws down gauntlet to Jamie

A GRANDFATHER has taken his passion to the school gates today for healthy food-and thrown down the gauntlet to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.Former company director Adrian Lingwood became a kitchen assistant two years ago after he became bored with early retirement.

A GRANDFATHER has taken his passion to the school gates today for healthy food-and thrown down the gauntlet to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Former company director Adrian Lingwood became a kitchen assistant two years ago after he became bored with early retirement.

Today he is using a sandwich board in a bid to champion the humble school dinner and has even invited Jamie Oliver to dine at the school.

He said: “Jamie Oliver has done us no favours. School dinners have become a joke and they shouldn't be.


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“I think our school meals are excellent.”

Working in the kitchen at Capel St Mary Primary School, Mr Lingwood said he was pleasantly surprised at the food available.

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He said: “The job came up two years ago and I was fed up with sitting at home. When I started working here I was amazed at the quality and quantity of food we prepare here.”

Mr Lingwood, of Furness Close, in the Stoke Park area of Ipswich, has a granddaughter at the primary school.

He said: “We have 300 pupils here but last Monday we served just 54 meals. They should all be having the meals here. I can't understand why they don't. I don't think parents realise how good the food is.

“When I was a child everyone joked about school dinners but it's not like that now.”

Listing some of the dishes on his sandwich board, Mr Lingwood is determined to set the record straight.

He added: “The children can help themselves to as much salad as they wish from a daily selection of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, spring onions, carrots, peppers, celery and radishes as well as a rice or pasta bowl. Last Friday the fruit bar contained fresh strawberries, pears, apples and oranges. All this in addition to a two course meal. All for £1.70-it's unbelievable. Isn't it time we stopped criticising school dinners?”

Nicky Sirett, headteacher at Capel St Mary Primary School, said: “The school is pleased to support the meals service in promoting healthy eating.

“As a school we encourage pupils to bring a healthy snack and regard healthy eating as part of the school's aims to promote a healthy lifestyle for all our students.”

What do you think of Mr Lingwood's determination? Do you know someone who feels passionately about food? Are your child's school dinners fresh and healthy? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

About 4.6 million children eat a packed lunch every day, but the government says many lunchboxes contain too much salt, sugar and saturated fat. Figures suggest 25 per cent of children may be obese and a diabetes risk by 2020.

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