Our Head of Development, Polly Praill, looks back on the lessons we’ve learned from working in school food during Covid – more than anything we’ve realised the vital importance of collaboration when it comes to change.
We are delighted to be receiving thousands of stickers from the wonderful Discount Sticker Printing. The lovely Leah got in touch with Chefs in Schools after reading about our work and offered us stickers and banners to support the promotion of our work.
We are excited to launch our 2021 cooking classes at the Hackney School of Food. These classes give the chance to learn something new while also supporting our charity. Not only do we have incredible experts lined up to teach tricks of the trade but a few famous faces too. The classes start in January – dates TBC – but vouchers are available now. All proceeds go towards our work in child health and school food.
We’re delighted to see the Hackney School of Food on the shortlist for the Hackney Design Awards. The school, set within the grounds of Mandeville Primary School – part of the LEAP Federation – opened earlier this year and offers seed to spoon classes to the local community and children free of charge.
We are delighted to be working with The Food People, a food trends organisation which shares our passion for good food. Like us, they recognise the important role that food has to play in improving the health and education of children and young people.
Following a major public campaign, which saw charities, food organisations and campaigners working together, the Government has announced a funding package to help alleviate child food poverty. Whilst we welcome this news and thank the Government for taking action, we will continue to call for the extension of free school meals to all children living in poverty. There is still work to do.
A lot of people don’t know that food poverty is so prevalent in the UK. I hope that this film is, at the very least, an eye opener to people, a conversation starter. I hope that this film shines a light on the work that charities like Chefs in Schools are doing and moves people to action – Director, Libby Burke Wilde, on ‘Tinned Pears’.
Chefs in Schools is campaigning alongside many other charities and organisations to end child food poverty. Together, we’re urging the Government to adopt the recommendations of the National Food Strategy. As we launch Tinned Pears – a short film looking at the issue – our Chief Executive, Naomi Duncan, gives her views on why this issue demands urgent attention.
We’ve joined forces with 38 food campaigners, charities and health experts to call on the Government to fund free school meals during the forthcoming autumn half-term and the Christmas holiday periods. The coalition has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP, group, arguing that with coronavirus on the rise again and lockdowns being re-instated, the situation is worsening for those living in food insecurity.
We asked Jake Barwood, Head Chef at Totteridge Academy, what challenges his team has overcome to keep serving hot meals, made from scratch, every school day. Stats released by the Food Foundation show only 46% of school canteens are operating as normal. With many schools unable to accommodate pupils in crowded canteens, kitchen staff are having to rethink how they do service.
We’re backing Sustain’s call to #EndChildFoodPoverty – and hope you will too. Sustain is looking for your support in calling for five policy commitments to protect children’s health and to increase access to nutritious food.
Chefs in Schools was featured in September 2020’s Observer Food Monthly magazine. The write-up by Ed Cumming, looked at the amazing food being served at Woodmansterne School, Stormont House and our first nursery – Little Jungle. Our founding school – Gayhurst Community School – also gets a mention.
Our Covid-19 Free School Meal volunteers, James and Valerie, are off on a fundraising cycle challenge for Chefs in Schools. James and Valerie volunteered to help us feed children during the pandemic. James is also Exec Chef at two primary schools. He works with us to transform school food and knows how important it is for school communities and the health of pupils.
Thank you to everyone who has helped our Free School Meal Hamper scheme since March. Seventeen weeks and 327,020 meals later – it’s coming to an end. We can’t quite believe it’s time to hang up our chef hats and get back to business as normal. So many wonderful people played a part in our work and we can’t thank them enough.
Getting ready to deliver school meals again? Here is a handy checklist to get your school started. This was drawn up in collaboration with the School Food Plan Alliance and Food for Life. It covers all areas.
It’s the last week of our Covid school closure response work. With the holidays ending and schools re-opening next week, our final batch of free school meal hampers will be sent out on Wednesday and Thursday. Here’s our final update from Southwark and Lambeth.
This summer, our aim is to feed even more families with our free school meal hampers. We’ll be working with our incredible volunteers to make hampers that are packed with nutritious meals. These will be sent out with store cupboard essentials to families at risk of going hungry.