ISS and innocent drinks gets Kids Gardening During Lockdown with Virtual Event

The ISS Education Food Services annual ‘Green Fingers’ initiative in May 2020 was successfully hosted on social media due to Corona Virus lockdown conditions. The caterers partnered with innocent drinks for the second consecutive year; over 18,000 packets of seeds were given to thousands of vulnerable children and children of key workers in the packed lunches and hampers provided by ISS.

Monday 11th May saw the launch of the two week event, which promotes growing and eating delicious fruits and veggies. The original plan was to run the annual ‘Green Fingers’ gardening week in schools across England with the help of supply partners, innocent drinks, and TV gardener, Chris Collins.

Due to the national lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak ISS and partners considered what could be achieved remotely to support families during the crisis.  Rather than disappoint thousands of schools, carers and parents, resources were shared via social media. Recipes and live cooking events by the ISS foodie community, activity sheets and gardening experiments were just some of the pursuits available to all.

Gardener, Chris Collins, who typically visits schools with ISS during Green Fingers to run gardening workshops, took to his allotment to share top tips via video. He also provided growing project activities and other advice for young budding horticulturalists.

ISS’ supply partner, innocent drinks, made the generous donation of 18,000 seed packets in 2020 which marks the second year ISS and innocent drinks have partnered to promote the joys of growing to young people; innocent runs its own annual Big Grow programme to help get people growing their own veg at school and home.

Continued growth & prizes

Anyone can benefit from the Green Fingers 2020 resources, which are freely available on ISS’ Education Twitter page and Feeding Hungry minds website. Children and schools can win prizes for their school, including a new school vegetable garden and gardening workshops with Chris Collins. Schools can submit their Green Fingers learnings and accomplishments by 15th June 2020 to be in with a chance to gain these great resources.

Rochana Shrestha, Big Grow Campaign Manager at innocent, said, “We’re thrilled to be working with ISS in getting thousands of seed packets to budding growers. It’s a tough time for parents at the moment, and we’re hoping kids can stay busy growing either from their garden or from their windowsills.”

Mark Davies, Managing Director of ISS Food Services said: “We’ve held Green Fingers for eight years now and it’s always one of our annual highlights. We wanted to make the most of the resources and use them to help families with the new challenge of home schooling and general child entertainment, so we took to Twitter! We’re really pleased with how well the online campaign has been received and hope the activities and videos have inspired some exciting home gardening and healthy cooking projects!”