Compass Group subsidiary Chartwells has joined other leading UK businesses in supporting the Child Food Poverty Taskforce initiative by footballer Marcus Rashford MBE.
Other companies involved in the initiative include Aldi, Asda, Brakes, Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, General Mills, Greggs, Heinz, Hovis, Iceland, Kellogg’s, Lidl, Marcus Rashford, Mars Food, Marks & Spencers, Morrisons, Nandos, Ocado, Princes, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Weetabix Limited.
Taskforce members are currently formulating and delivering key policy recommendations for the UK’s National Food Strategy, in areas that include:
- Expanding the provision of free school meals to every child from a household on state benefit, Universal Credit (or equivalent benefits), with a target of reaching an additional 1.5 million 7-16 year olds; and
- Expanding provision of food and activities during school holidays to support all children who currently receive free school meals, with the objective of reaching an additional 1.1 million children.
Chartwells works with over 3,000 education establishments, including thousands of schools across the UK, to help students build strong bodies, sharp minds and lead long, healthy lives.
In 2018, the company launched a dedicated health and wellbeing programme, Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen, focusing on holiday food provision during holidays for children across the United Kingdom, including 13,000 in the London borough of Lewisham alone. Partnerships with more than 30 charities help to support vulnerable children and reach 4,000 young people in school breaks with education and information; in addition to training around 70 holiday lunch club volunteers to help families in need.
Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen now offers a suite of virtual resources which take into account current restrictions offering practical learning via a dedicated Super Yummy Kitchen YouTube channel which was created during the nationwide Covid lockdown earlier this year to help children and families utilise the cook along videos with entertaining and educational content. Additionally, it has introduced interactive sessions with nutritionists and chefs, webinars, as well as access to printable and online materials.
Charlie Brown, Chartwells managing director, comments: “Marcus Rashford’s campaign shines a much-needed spotlight on the issue of child food poverty. We know how important nutritious food is to educational attainment, and that food provision is a real struggle for some families, so we fully support widening access to free school meals.
“We’re now going to be working with the taskforce to provide healthy meals during school holidays for those entitled to free school meals. As the first school caterer on board, I believe our insights and our networks in schools will be valuable, to make a real difference to young lives.”
Marcus Rashford MBE adds: “There is significant strength and power in numbers and to really combat the issue of child food poverty in the UK and stabilise households we must all play a role. I’m thrilled that Chartwells has joined us on this journey to guarantee no child in this country goes hungry.”