Chartwells becomes first school caterer to join Child Food Poverty Taskforce

Chartwells, the leading provider of catering and support services to schools in the UK, has joined the Child Food Poverty taskforce formed by Marcus Rashford MBE, to tackle child food poverty in the UK.

Chartwells will now support the taskforce in its delivery of key policy recommendations of the National Food Strategy;

• Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5million 7-16 year olds.
• Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1million 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. Chartwells provides nourishing and great tasting meals created by its team of nutritionists and chefs, and food ambassadors delivering food education in the classroom.

In 2018, Chartwells launched a dedicated health and wellbeing programme, Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen. As part of this there was a focus on holiday provision and since then Chartwells has provided many children across the UK, including 13,000 in Lewisham alone, with meals during holidays; partnered with more than 30 charities to help support vulnerable children; reached 4,000 young people in school breaks with education and information; and trained around 70 holiday lunch club volunteers to help families in need.

The programme now has a suite of virtual resources, which take into account current restrictions offering practical learning via The 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. Plus, it has introduced interactive sessions with nutritionists and chefs, webinars, as well as access to printable and online materials.

Charlie Brown, Managing Director, Chartwells commented, “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.”

“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.” Marcus Rashford MBE

Chartwells will be joining other businesses on the taskforce including; 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, Weetabix.