Chartwells, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s specialist provider of catering to the education sector, has partnered with social mobility charity, Mayor’s Fund to support the Fund’s Kitchen Social programme.
Kitchen Social is a response to a wider national campaign tackling food insecurity in the school holidays, and the initiative gives young Londoners, on free school meals and from low-income families, a safe place to go where they can socialise and get a free healthy meal. The project supports children’s general mental and physical well-being, as well as teaching them life-skills. An additional package of training modules has also been developed for those delivering holiday provision to change long-term behaviour and build a sustainable infrastructure.
Chartwells kicked off the partnership during the February half-term holiday. Its team of experts volunteered culinary expertise and services in interactive cooking workshops at local Kitchen Social hubs: Lady Allen Adventure Playground, Wandsworth; Leaders in the Community, Tower Hamlets; Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre, Brent; Will Perrin Court Hostel, Rainham; Bollo Youth Centre, Ealing and St Luke’s Church, Hackney.
Chartwells will also support hubs throughout the year by delivering training for cooks and volunteers. This will incorporate nutrition, menu planning and shopping, recipe demonstrations, school food standards, kitchen management, budgeting and good practice. In addition, they will provide educational support on nutrition for young people attending hubs which will include hands on cookery sessions, healthy eating and take-away resources for families.
Commenting on the new partnership, Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “We are delighted that Kitchen Social is being supported by Chartwells. Our aligned missions of helping young people to lead long, healthy lives is a great foundation for the partnership and will help us to achieve our 2020 vision of delivering a sustainable holiday provision solution across all 33 London Boroughs.”
Richard Taylor, Managing Director, Chartwells said: “We’re committed to going beyond what’s on the plate, to provide healthy and nutritious meals, but also all-round health and well-being initiatives for children. That’s why we’ve chosen to support this charity and help with the important work they are doing, to feed children during school holidays and also providing extra support and education during that time too.”
Kitchen Social is a three year, £2million campaign, that was launched in January 2017. It offers funding and training to local organisations to enable them to tackle holiday hunger and isolation, which affects around half a million young Londoners every school holiday. To date, it has helped to provide 10,800 meals to 1,728 children and young people.