Scottish farmers are needed to provide 150 lambs to reach this year’s target of delivering 2.75 tonnes of lamb to 24,000 schoolchildren this November.
The industry initiative is part of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day, which aims to encourage more people to eat lamb as part of the Patron Saint’s celebrations.
The annual event has been recognised in the Scottish parliament and has become one of the key lamb promotion events in Scotland.
It is credited for improving the prime lamb price throughout the month of November, with the price tracking upwards during the month over the last three years.
Scotland’s institute for livestock marts and auctioneers, IAAS, started the Lamb Bank three years ago to gather donations from farmers to give lamb to schools, for free, for use on 30 November.
Over 390 lambs and 65,000 lamb portions have been donated to date for school canteens and Home Economics classes across Scotland.
This year, 150 lambs are needed to reach this year’s target of delivering 2.75 tonnes of lamb to schools.
This can be done by donating the value of store, prime and breeding lambs, cull and breeding ewes and tups, usually in the region of £100-£150, via any Scottish auction market.
Neil Wilson, executive director of IAAS, said: "There is just no better way to tell the story of lamb and encourage more people to choose it.
"School teachers have loved the opportunity to inspire young people with tasty, fun-to-make recipes and the chance to try lamb, whether it’s in class or the canteen.
"It’s a hugely valuable and interactive way to teach about the merits of Scottish lamb production and healthy eating and to counter negative marketing around red meat, but also to demonstrate that it can be affordable.”
As the appetite among schools grows, IAAS is calling on the industry to donate, whether it’s the value of a lamb at the next mart sale, or financial donations.
Donations can be made online or at any livestock mart.
Mr Wilson added: “If we all put in a little, it spreads the burden, and we are calling on everyone, mart users or not, to come forward and give what they can so we can make a big impression."