Swap to new college wholesome consuming program supplier triggers issues banned junk meals will reappear
Adjustments to the way in which WA faculties promote wholesome consuming for youths have prompted issues that junk meals equivalent to chips, comfortable drinks and lollies may creep again on to highschool canteen menus.
The Well being Division was not too long ago awarded a $3.7 million contract to Victorian-based group Diet Australia to offer a “complete of faculty wholesome consuming program” — snubbing the WA College Canteen Affiliation, which has delivered the State Authorities’s wholesome food and drinks coverage in faculties for the previous 15 years.
Whereas the brand new program is anticipated to proceed a visitors gentle system categorizing meals decisions as inexperienced for nutritious, amber for infrequent, or purple for junk, there are fears the brand new supplier will change WA’s standards.
“At a faculty degree, which may imply the well being of our children is affected as a result of we may have some unhealthy objects coming into faculties which haven’t at present been there,” WASCA chief govt Megan Sauzier mentioned.
“The visitors gentle system is a bit completely different in Victoria. Crimson meals, for instance, that are comfortable drinks, lollies and chips, are off the menu in WA and have been off the menu from 2007, whereas in Victoria you are allowed to have purple meals twice a time period.”
Diet Australia is but to launch full particulars of its method, however insists there can be no speedy adjustments to WA’s visitors gentle standards.
“We’ll implement the standards the WA authorities desires us to implement,” Diet Australia’s Victorian wholesome consuming advisory service program supervisor Margaret Rozman mentioned.
Ms Sauzier mentioned the choice to ignore WASCA’s wonderful observe report and expertise to award the tender to an interstate group meant its funding had been slashed by 41 per cent, considerably lowering its capability to assist faculties and assess their canteen menus.
“We stay up for seeing what’s developed . . . however till that service is about up, we’re components of what that can appear like and there is prone to be a spot within the companies faculties are used to receiving,” she mentioned. “Something that will increase the burden on college or canteen workers is prone to have a unfavorable impact.”
Pania Turner, president of the WA Council of State College Organizations — the height physique for P&C teams which function most college canteens — has written to Well being Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and Well being Division director-general David Russell-Weisz to specific her “disappointment on the lack of session”, including: “I’ve issues that assist for constructing wholesome meals cultures in class communities might be much less.”
Ms Turner mentioned canteens have been an essential college service. “It’s important that they’ve entry to knowledgeable assist from individuals who perceive WA faculties and the complexities that come from working canteens that are largely staffed by volunteers,” she mentioned.
A spokeswoman for the Well being Division mentioned it was performed an open, aggressive tender course of to pick out a program supplier in accordance with WA Authorities procurement coverage to roll out a complete new whole-of-school wholesome consuming program for all WA faculties — private and non-private.
“A brand new web site for faculties with sources, curriculum supplies, on-line coaching and an internet FoodChecker recipe and menu evaluation device might be delivered, in addition to cellphone, e mail and face-to-face assist for all college and canteen workers,” she mentioned .
“Phrases 3 and 4 are a transition section, whereas the brand new program is rolled out in full by the beginning of the 2023 college yr.”
The spokeswoman mentioned supporting West Australians to halt rising weight problems ranges was a key precedence for the division.
“Serving to youngsters set up wholesome consuming habits whereas in class is in an important a part of the concerted effort to assist the entire WA neighborhood obtain this goal,” she mentioned.
The Schooling Division mentioned the supplier would wish to assist faculties to enact the necessities of the Wholesome Meals and Drink in Public Colleges procedures.
- 17, Jul, 2022
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