National School Meals Week (NSMW) 11th – 15th November ’19

What are you doing during NSMW? – Join in the conversation at Twitter @NSMW or on Facebook and Instagram.

It is now 30 years since the formation of LACA, the School Food People and during that time the organisation has worked hard to promote the benefits, values and nutritional factors in today’s school food. 

During National School Meals Week 2019 this milestone is marked and LACA has a menu of activities that offers everyone involved in education catering the opportunity to get involved during the week and in some cases beyond.

LACA’S NSMW is back on the road this year with its ‘Taste for Yourself’ campaign, when once again we will be visiting all ten LACA regions. The route is taking LACA’S message about healthy school food across England and Wales, inviting parents, journalists, dignitaries and the public at large to “taste for themselves” modern day school food.


At each stop we will have a different message on issues of importance in the provision of school food. For example school caterers adapting to the increase in vegan diets, the move towards the use of certified sustainable palm oil, the importance of dairy in the school meals menu, how the industry supports local farmers and of course is working extremely hard to ensure pupils with food allergies can be safely catered for in school.

When the ten regional visits have been completed, the combined messaging should paint a very positive picture about the school meals industry.

The tour is therefore designed to promote some of the less well-known facts about a school lunch, tackle outdated perceptions and demonstrate to the widest possible audience just how good today’s school meals really are. An added bonus is the fact that we can make the point in each region, that school meals helps support the local economy by sourcing supplies, wherever possible, locally.

2019 is the 30th anniversary of LACA’s formation and to commemorate that we have launched our ‘#30 people, 30 School Meals Stories’ campaign where weekly, we pay tribute to many of the heroes of the education catering industry. As each week passes and another piece of the jigsaw is completed, it demonstrates the broad range of individuals that have contributed to making LACA the voice of the industry.
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‘Taste for Yourself’ is a school-based initiative to encourage non or occasional users of the school meals service, to see for themselves just how good today’s school meals are. For older pupils, often the barrier is misconceptions and we are keen to make sure pupils know what variety and choice is on offer to them. Resources are now available in English and Welsh for schools to promote ‘Taste for Yourself’ during NSMW (and beyond) and are free to download here.

‘Move it with LACA’ –We want to get pupils moving during NSMW and help improve their fitness on an ongoing basis. This can be tied in with the ‘daily mile’ campaign which is popular in many schools or to other initiatives involving a daily exercise regime. Healthy eating and healthy living go hand in hand and school meals help provide the fuel that the body needs to enjoy regular exercise.

‘Invite an MP to Lunch’ During NSMW, we know many of you invite your local Member of Parliament to visit schools and enjoy a delicious school lunch – LACA encourage this, especially when this year’s main theme is a ‘Taste for Yourself’ initiative. It is important MP’s know just how good today’s school food is and how important it is in terms of health and wellbeing, for children to have a nutritious, two course lunch in the middle of the school day. Use the visit to discuss the key issues that our industry face, including the benefit of maintaining UIFSM.

Download the invite letter template on the NSMW Resources New for 2019 section and invite your MP to lunch. There are similar invite letter templates to download, for inviting the media and local dignitaries such as the Mayor, ward councillors etc. all free to download in English and Welsh.

On Wednesday 13th November, Roast Dinner Day will be bringing people of different generations together over one of the nation’s favourite meals; the great roast dinner!Roast Dinner Day 2019 is the first event in the calendar of the newly-launched Food for Life Get Togethers programme. Funded by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, Food for Life Get Togethers uses the power of good food to bring people of different generations together. The focus is on making people happier and healthier using good food, bringing communities together, and promoting a healthy relationship with food for kids. This Roast Dinner Day, schools, community centres, social clubs and more will open their gates to great grandparents, toddlers, and everyone in between. The aim is that everyone will have the chance to get to know each other better while sharing a healthy and delicious roast dinner.Get involved! Do you want to show pupils and parents just how delicious your school’s food is? Increase meal take up by signing up below and receive a free event pack, including some great resources from Knorr, to get you started! Register at

30 School Meals Heroes

Each week we select a new School Meals Hero from school chef to farmer and showcase the people making a difference. Who is this week's hero?

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Please click on the button below to choose, download and use a selection of materials available to promote National School Meals Week, Theme Days and many other great initiatives.


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National School Meals Week is the one week a year where the school meals industry celebrates all that is great about school food.

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Latest News

It’s home turf for SCOTY Steve on ‘Taste for Yourself’ tour

After negotiating their way through the ‘joys’ of the London traffic the LACA NSMW teamheaded for Havant, in Hampshire. There was a bigger than usual smile on the face of the team’s chef, SCOTY winner Steven Cross, as the destination was Park Community School where Steven heads up the catering team on a daily basis. The visit to…

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Meet out sponsors!

Kraft Heinz Food Service

As a proud supplier to schools across the UK, we’re delighted to sponsor National School Meals Week. We’re committed to providing the right products, in the perfect formats and sizes for the education sector so that pupils can enjoy nutritious meals every day.

We’ve developed products specifically for the education sector such as our Heinz No-Added Sugar Beanz and 50% less sugar and salt Tomato Ketchup, both of which fall under the FSA Salt Target regulation for 2017.

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