With National School Meals Week taking place across the country next week (12-16 November), ISS’s school catering business is getting ready to host a number of celebrations.
Lead by the Lead Association for Education (LACA), the national event is now in its 25th year and is designed to celebrate “all that is great about school meals,” said national chair Michael Hales.
As well as serving the nation’s favourite school meal – recently unveiled as curry and chocolate sponge with custard – ISS will participate in the Soil Association Food For Life’s National Roast Dinner Day (14 November) and ask pupils to vote for their favourite lunch.
Encouraging head teachers to get involved, too, ISS invites them to try a free school meal throughout the week so that they can ‘experience school meals for themselves.’ Chefs are meanwhile asked to share their dishes on social media with the hashtag #cookeditmyselfie.
ISS Education sector director Steve Kemp 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 10 years.”
To further promote school food, the company is giving 15 school chefs the chance to spend a day behind-the-scenes in top restaurants across the UK, as part of its year-long ‘Host a School Chef’ initiative.
2018 ISS Chef of the Year winner, Cheryl Humphries - catering manager at High Weald School (Kent) – will be the first participator, joining Kraft Heinz’ head development chef at the Shard Restaurant (London) for a tour of its development kitchen.
Kemp added, “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, ISS Education foodservice director, 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 (ISS serves) 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 is able to take part in so many great initiatives.”
LACA national chair, Michael Hales concluded, “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.”