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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
NHS scheme's boost for local food
Royal Cornwall Hospital
The NHS in Cornwall currently spends 1.75m a year on food
A new scheme to increase the use of Cornish produce in local hospitals has been given extra cash.

About 225,0000, from the government and Brussels, will be used at a 4m food distribution centre.

Catering manager at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Mike Pearson, said the centre would mean the NHS using more local suppliers.

The money will pay for two workers, establish an office and launch a website for the project.

Cornwall's hospitals' shopping list
11,700 kg of bacon
13,300kg of diced pork
19,000kg of cauliflowers
10,900 beef pasties
17,700 kg of Cheddar cheese
The NHS in Cornwall spends 1.75m a year on food and about 60% is currently spent with suppliers outside the county.

Many hospitals in Cornwall purchase their frozen meals from Wales at present.

Mr Pearson said: "What it means is the patients would be eating food that had been grown picked cooked and frozen in Cornwall rather than coming from Wales as it is now."

The new facility will eventually supply 1.2m meals a year to hospitals throughout Cornwall to patients, staff, visitors and students at the new Peninsula Medical School in Truro.

Tony Gardner, chief executive of Cornwall Partnership Trust, said: "This project scores on all counts. As well as providing the fresh food it will also reduce pollution from long haul transport and increase local employment and the incomes for growers and producers locally."

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