Healthy Breakfast Boxes 

When schools across the UK were ordered to close until further notice due to Covid-19, we were quick to spring into action and offer emergency support to families vulnerable to food insecurity at this difficult time.

In partnership with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, we’ve been able to provide free healthy breakfast boxes to families vulnerable to food insecurity across Lambeth and Southwark during school closures.

Since the programme launched on 4 May 2020, we are proud to have distributed 51,782 boxes of 517,820 nutritious breakfasts to school children in Lambeth and Southwark.

Each box was filled with two weeks’ worth of healthy breakfasts including fruit, wholemeal bread, baked beans, Weetabix and fresh milk. The boxes were analysed by a public health nutritionist to ensure that they meet the School Food Standards which meant that in a time of financial crisis and food insecurity, children are receiving nutritious food that will nurture them and keep them well.

The breakfast boxes have been a ‘life-line’ for many parents but have also been a crucial way for teacher to keep in touch with families during these challenging times.

In addition, 4,724 lunch hampers filled with 94,480 lunches have been distributed to families across the two boroughs thanks to Chefs in Schools. These healthy hampers were a mixture of dry goods to cook such as rice and vegetables, combined with fresh meals from restaurant partners Mission Meals, Wahaca and Hawksmoor.

Young Marketeers  

On July 8 our Young Marketeers would have been showing off their prize veg at Borough Market at our summer sale. But a global pandemic will not stop our young horticulturists and together we’ve found a way to modify the programme so that it’s Covid-safe and a bumper crop is guaranteed.

I’ve posted out veg seeds so that our schools could stay busy planting, tending and watering their plants during lockdown. We’ve also put together a film with real market traders at Borough Market, sharing hints and tips on setting up a stall, sales techniques and making produce look super tempting.

Next up, our resident gardener will be delivering socially-distanced sessions in schools, helping them bring on their veg for market day, where schools will be recreating Borough Market in the playground, selling home grown fruit and veg to classmates and teachers.

Our charity partners FareShare are also putting together a virtual tour with a follow-up Q&A session to give insight into the scale of FareShare’s work, and how the money raised by our Young Marketeers will feed vulnerable families.

Holiday Food and Fun Programme 

Over the last two weeks of the summer holidays, we’re proud to have been able to provide stimulating food and outdoor activities for children at Willow Tree primary school in Ealing.

Students have been busy learning to grow veg from seed with our resident gardener Cath, building dens and enjoying a hot, healthy meal each day.

Since the programme started in 2018, we have run four holiday food and fun clubs across two primary schools in Ealing, over the Easter and summer holidays. These were developed and delivered in partnership with Belazu Ingredient Company, with additional funding from Kitchen Social supported by the Mayor’s Fund for London.

Honeybee Programme 

As part of our Honeybee programme, students from two primary schools have enjoyed a socially distanced gardening session with our resident gardener Cath, planting bee-friendly plants in their school grounds to attract lots of bees and other wildlife. Following on from Cath’s session, schools will be treated to a virtual visit from a London Beekeepers’ Association beekeeper followed by a Q&A session. More visits are scheduled for September and with a bit of luck we may be able to get a beekeeper to visit in person before the honeybees get tucked up for winter!