School caterer ISS Education held a celebration on 25th September at Chase Bridge Primary School in Richmond to mark four years of retaining Gold Food For Life Served Here for 33 primary schools in the borough.
The Gold award requires 5% free range and 15% organic produce to reach the standard along with sourcing as much local and British produce as possible. Retaining Gold in the current economy is no mean feat, yet the ISS team in Richmond has remained determined to uphold the standards and deliver the best service possible since they were first awarded in 2014.
ISS serves school meals to around 400 pupils at Chase Bridge Primary every day, and the school is delighted with everything ISS has done to maintain the Food For Life Served Here standards.
Andrew King, Head Teacher at Chase Bridge Primary said: “Educating the children about food is an important part of the curriculum at Chase Bridge. ISS have been great in making sure we have good quality lunches and not only that, they are also contributing to our broader curriculum, for example, using the food the children grow in our allotments in the meals.”
Stephanie Wood, founder and CEO of School Food Matters, spoke about the importance of what Food For Life can do to get the very best school meals. Stephanie’s campaign for change to the quality of school food started in Richmond and having her in attendance was particularly poignant in terms of how far the service has come.
Stephanie commented: “Someone wise once said it’s important to look down the mountain to see how far you’ve climbed and that’s what we did at this lovely celebration event. Richmond has come such a long way since 2007 when the campaign to transform school food began and the campaign represents a lovely piece of partnership working; parents, schools, local authority and caterers all working together with children’s health and happiness at the heart of what we continue to do.”
The award was presented by Ian Nutt, Head of Development for Food For Life. Ian leads development of all national Food for Life programmes, plus has overall responsibility for Food for Life Served Here.
Ian said: “Good food is a vital part of the school day. Parents to students at these Richmond schools can be confident that their children are equipped with the fuel they need for their learning and development through the meals provided here by ISS. Achieving a Gold Food For Life Served Here award is an incredible accomplishment. Going one step further, it’s thrilling to see the whole school approach in action, with the vegetables grown on site by pupils at Chase Bridge Primary School reflected in the lunch menus. ISS display the Food for Life Served Here logo in their dining rooms and on their menus. Parents can look for the logo as a sign of this great achievement.”
The event concluded with a sampling of dishes from ISS’ Gold menu, prepared by the school’s catering team. Parents and children were invited to join in the tasting session, which included dishes prepared with organic and free-range ingredients as well as fresh produce grown by pupils on the school grounds.
Kerrie Cole, Regional Operations Director at ISS, commented, “I am thrilled that our Richmond schools have retained the Gold Food for Life accreditation for yet another year. This fully supports our ethos of freshly produced, traceable food that is made with passion by a committed team. I feel really proud of what the team has achieved.”