West Sussex County Council and its catering partner for schools, Chartwells, have been working closely during the coronavirus crisis to ensure any surplus food is donated to local charities.
Since the much-reduced numbers of children attending schools throughout the UK in late March, the organisations have donated a range of products including over 500 sandwiches, four cases of apples, plus cheese, bread, treats and crisps.
The supplies also included Steamplicity products - a meal solution that uses a micro-steaming system to cook a range of raw and pre-cooked ingredients to be ready to eat within minutes. The unique preparation system means the food retains nutrients and freshness
John Figgins, Head of Catering Services, West Sussex County Council said: “The recent Covid-19 situation meant that we had an opportunity with Chartwells to support some fantastic local charities by quickly organising the donation of food from our school meal service, that we may otherwise have risked wasting”
The two main charities that have benefited are Stonepillow Charity in Chichester, who support and empower homeless and vulnerable people; as well as Littlehampton Community Fridge, who rescue surplus food and make it available to those who need it in the community.
FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste has also received items to share with the local communities across Brighton, Horsham and Crawley.
Hilary Bartle, CEO of Stonepillow, said, “We are really grateful for these donations and it has helped us ensure we’re able to support the most vulnerable homeless people in Chichester during this really tough time.”
Charlie Brown, Managing Director, Chartwells added, “Thank you to everyone who came together to make this donation happen. We are pleased to be working closely with the West Sussex County Council to support those in need.”
Chartwells, the education catering specialist of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has delivered catering for the Local Authority since 2006, providing services to around 200 schools.
During the coronavirus crisis the teams across West Sussex have continued to support key worker children and have also been providing nutritious packed lunches or home hampers for those entitled to free school meals.