Supporting Children all across the Country

By Charlie Brown
Managing Director, Chartwells

With the Christmas break fast approaching, the education catering sector is working as hard as ever! Over the festive period we’ll be delivering thousands of hampers to schools and holiday clubs across the UK, to make sure that some of the country’s most vulnerable children get access to nutritious food this Christmas.

We know that school meals provide some children with their only meal of the day. This means for many families across the UK, school holidays are a real challenge. We also know that a good diet helps with educational attainment, as well as health and wellbeing, so it is critical that young people have access to healthy food. 2020 has plunged many families into tough times, so this access is more important than ever.

We recently announced Chartwells as the first school caterer to join Marcus Rashford’s Child Food Poverty taskforce. The campaign shines a much-needed spotlight on the issue. I believe our insights and our networks are proving valuable and will ultimately make a real difference to young lives.

This continues the momentum we have built over the last few years through our Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen programme, that has provided many children across the UK, including 13,000 in Lewisham alone, with meals during holidays. We have partnered with more than 30 charities to help support vulnerable children, reached 4,000 young people in school breaks with education and trained around 70 holiday lunch club volunteers to help families in need and established our Super Yummy Kitchen YouTube channel.

In addition to the free school meal provision, this Christmas we’ll be working with charities such as Kitchen Social and Transforming Lives for Good to raise funds to donate at least 2,500 hampers packed with food, to go directly to children, providing enough to make lunch every day for two weeks during the Christmas holidays.

I think this is a landmark moment for school caterers, as it highlights the importance of the food we’re providing to children and acknowledging that many children simply can’t thrive without it. For these young people, there is no better Christmas present than a full tummy.

Charlie Brown,
Managing Director, Chartwells