Healthy school food on Polish political agenda

Poland’s junior coalition partner – the Polish Peasants’ Party (PSL) – has launched a campaign to promote healthier food in schools across the country. A draft bill was submitted to the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament in December, calling for a reduction in levels of sugars, fats and harmful acids in food products and beverages sold to schools.

The party has already created a promotional film to tie in with the initiative, and a website will follow. “This is the beginning of a social campaign promoting healthy food, and discouraging junk food,” said PSL spokesman Krzysztof Kosinski in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP). The prospective changes at schools would be introduced to kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools, the latter taking children up to the age of 16.

Poland’s lyceum schools, for those in the 16-19 age bracket, are not included as according to PSL the pupils are old enough to decide for themselves what they should eat.

The campaign provides an opportunity for the party to restore the wholesome image that it has traditionally striven to project. PSL, which has a predominantly rural backing, was stung in recent months following a nepotism scandal hinging on a government-backed grain company that was run by PSL members. The scandal prompted Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, a member of PSL, to resign.