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Atlantic record-breaker Kate launches NI School Meals Week

Atlantic record-breaker Kate launches NI School Meals Week

Atlantic rower Kate Richardson may have spent almost six weeks living on dehydrated food on her 3000-mile journey, but the record-breaking rower was sampling cuisine of a more appetising kind at the Titanic Building in Belfast.

Kate was special guest at the launch of Northern Ireland School Meals Week where a week of activities and promotions aimed at increasing the uptake of school meals were unveiled by the Northern Ireland School Caterers Association (NISCA).

“The purpose of the week is to highlight the positives of the school meals service throughout Northern Ireland and to promote school meals as part of a healthy school lifestyle,” said NISCA Chairperson Janet McAlister.

“The role of NISCA is to try and make the school meals experience as enjoyable as possible for all our users. NISCA is committed to having a positive impact on children’s health by increasing the uptake of school meals across Northern Ireland.

“Schools experience huge benefits from increasing the uptake of school meals such as health and well-being, improvement in behaviour and concentration, and promotion of social skills.”

Schools will be hosting events and competitions throughout the week under a number of themes – the Titanic, the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics – and a number of schools are hosting ‘Come Dine With Me’ events in the school dinner hall for family members.

“I have to admit that I was surprised by the range of menu choices at many schools. Quality, nutritious food does not have to be bland or boring and the variety on offer at schools across Northern Ireland are testament to that,” said 22-year-old Kate.

Kate Richardson became the first Irish woman to row the Atlantic in January this year as part of an all-female crew who took on the challenge to raise awareness of the growing problem of human trafficking. Their time of under 46 days smashed the previous record of 52 days for an unaided crossing by an all-female crew.

Kate added: “I spent 45 days on board a small craft on the Atlantic Ocean living on dried food and desalinated water so I appreciate more than most how important our diet is.”