ISS’ school catering business had a busy National School Meals Week (NSMW) this year supporting the Lead Association for Catering in Education’s (LACA) celebrations. The 12th-16thNovember was the 25thanniversary of LACA’s NSMW celebrations. ISS took the opportunity to support LACA as much as possible in promoting great school meals.
The Nation’s Favourite School Meal was served to over 120k pupils by ISS during NSMW. The menu, chosen by the public in a survey run by LACA, was curry and rice followed by chocolate sponge with custard. They even got their offices involved, serving the Nation’s Favourite in restaurants at the ISS UK head office in Weybridge and London office at South Quay.
ISS also took part in the Soil Association Food For Life’s Roast Dinner Day, a national event which celebrates good school food. Approximately 500 schools took part by sitting down to a roast dinner on 14thNovember. Roasts are already a firm favourite with pupils, so ISS took the opportunity to ask them to vote on their favourite school meal as well.
Head teachers and members of ISS’ management team took the opportunity to sample school meals too. Former school cook, healthy food advocate and School Meals Policy Advisor for the Soil Association, Jeannette Orrey, joined ISS Food Service Director for Education, Linda Cregan, to give ISS’ lunches a try. On the 13thNovember they joined pupils at Outwood Primary Academy in Darfield for a healthy homemade meal prepared by Kitchen Manager Julie and her team.
Jeannette commented: “I want to thank Julie and her team for welcoming me to their school. It was wonderful to meet everyone, the food was lovely and it was great to see children enjoying their lunchtime so much. These are the people who are making a difference every day for so many children.”
In addition, ISS nominated thirteen chefs from schools to take part in the Host a School Chef programme. Cheryl Humphries, catering manager at High Weald School in Kent, recently enjoyed a day with the head development chef from Kraft Heinz, who sponsor the programme. Cheryl toured their offices in the Shard, followed by an afternoon in Borough Market learning about food trends.
Cheryl said: “I really enjoyed my experience with Kraft Heinz. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities, and I am excited to use some of the inspiration from the market and implement it in my school.”
Steve Kemp, Sector Director, ISS Education said: “I couldn’t be happier with how our National School Meals week activities went. It’s wonderful to see so many of our staff and schools engaging with the celebrations. When I see children excited to try healthy, homemade food, socialising while they eat, and leaving the dining room happy and satisfied it shows how important great school food is. What LACA do is fantastic, and I am glad we have the opportunity to support NSMW.”