The school catering business at ISS is taking part in a series of events celebrating school meals in line with the Lead Association for Education (LACA) in Catering’s National School Meals Week.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the LACA National School Meals Week (NSMW), which runs between 12th – 16th November. The purpose of NSMW is to promote school meals, and there are several events in which caterers can participate. ISS will serve the Nation’s Favourite School Meal, celebrating the Soil Association Food For Life’s National Roast Dinner Day and asking pupils to vote for their favourite school lunch. In addition ISS will invite head teachers to enjoy a free school meal during NSMW, so they can experience school meals for themselves. Throughout the week chefs are encouraged to share a #cookeditmyselfie on social media, showcasing the dishes they create in school kitchens.
To support LACA, ISS will collaborate with other caterers to provide food and refreshments for their event at the House of Commons. In addition, ISS will also provide mini-muffins as favours for guests to the event, all packaged using environmentally sustainable material from Vegware.
ISS have 15 school chefs taking part in the ‘Host a School Chef initiative’, which will run throughout the year, giving them the opportunity to spend the day behind the scenes in top restaurants. The winner of ISS’ Chef of the Year 2018 competition, Cheryl Humphries, catering manager at High Weald School in Kent, will take the first posting. She will join the head development chef from Kraft Heinz, sponsors of ‘Host a School Chef’, for a tour of their development kitchen at the Shard Restaurant in Central London.
ISS believe in the importance of providing nutritionally balanced school meals to children, as well as equipping them with the knowledge to help them make healthy food choices in later life. ISS have been helping to change the image of school meals in recent years and are currently the holder of the largest number of the Soil Association’s ‘Food For Life Served Here’ awards in England. ISS offer a range of food education initiatives to enhance school curriculum, including cookery clubs, nutrition assemblies, gardening and sports workshops.
Steve Kemp, Sector Director, ISS Education said: “It’s great to see so much positive activity around school meals. Our chefs work hard to give children a healthy meal every day, and it’s important that we recognise that school food has come a long way in the last ten years. The Host a School Chef programme is fantastic – we have a lot of talent in our kitchens and we are excited for our people to take part in this opportunity to learn new skills.”
Linda Cregan, Food Service Director, ISS Education commented: “National School Meals Week plays an important role in the mission to change the face of school meals. We have a responsibility to show that the meals we serve help children with energy levels, concentration and attainment, as well as allowing them to build essential social skills by eating together. I am excited that ISS are able to take part in so many of the great initiatives set up by LACA.”
Michael Hales, National Chair of LACA said “I encourage all schools, catering contractors and suppliers to become involved in this year’s Jubilee Celebrations of LACA’s National School Meals Week. It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about school meals and share the benefits of the improved outcomes to pupils who eat a hot, healthy and nutritious lunch each day. The passion and enthusiasm of everyone involved in this special week is always superb.”