Photo caption: Dr Andrew Kemp MBE and Michael Caines at the CaterEd holiday hunger innitiative
This summer, Bidfood has been busy supporting those who need it most, through its nation-wide ‘Action Against Holiday Hunger’ campaign. The campaign running across nine Bidfood depots[i], aims to help thousands of children across the UK by engaging with local communities and supporting their holiday provision projects; fuelling them with supplies, nutritious meals, cooked by Bidfood chefs, and volunteering support from depot employees.
During the six-week school break, five of the Bidfood depots involved supported individual local holiday provision projects around the country, including its Chepstow depot who worked with Swansea East MP, Carolyn Harris, to support the Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club, feeding over 6,000 children across the summer.
Discussing the initiative, Carolyn Harris MP, said: “Quite simply, a lot of families rely on free school meals during term time, and are unable to afford the extra food needed for the six week break; this is why I set up the Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club, to help support these families in need.
“This year will be the third summer of running the lunch club, having fed over 6,000 children in each year. To help run this scheme, we have had to rely on the kind donations from a number of suppliers, and Bidfood has been one of our biggest and most proactive supporters.
“In the current climate of austerity, I envisage that the holiday lunch clubs will continue for the foreseeable future and I am confident that Bidfood will continue to be one of our key providers.”
Four of the nine Bidfood depots that took part, including Wakefield, Nottingham, Stowmarket and Worthing, collaborated with FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, and one of Bidfood’s UK partners, to support over 110 projects across the UK. Bidfood Development Chefs volunteered their time at FareShare beneficiaries, to cook nutritious meals from the surplus stock donated, as well as providing helpful advice for families on how to cook on a budget and make food go further.
Samantha Lai, Commercial Officer at FareShare, said: “We don’t believe it’s right that any child should go hungry, but that is the shocking reality for up to 3 million children in the UK this summer. By distributing healthy and nutritious surplus food donated by Bidfood we’re able to get greater quantities of food to the hundreds of amazing projects which are bridging the gap in provision over the summer holidays. Having Bidfood’s chefs offer their expertise and time to help cook at some of our projects, has really helped maximise the potential of the food they receive!”
Bidfood also supported Hertfordshire Catering Ltd’s Fit Fed and Read scheme, as well as Southampton City Catering’s #LunchCrowd initiative, by providing funding, cooking and recipe development from Bidfood’s Development Chef, Wayne Wright. Along with this, Bidfood’s Group Sales and Marketing Director supported CaterEd’s holiday provision initiative, in partnership with executive chef, Michael Caines.
Talking about the campaign, Dr Andrew Kemp MBE, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Bidfood, said: “Myself and celebrated chef, Michael Caines, had the pleasure of preparing food in the premises of CaterED as part of our holiday hunger initiative.
“As the children began to arrive, I couldn’t believe how many were there, waiting patiently to be fed. This is holiday hunger, and this is happening everywhere across the UK. For my part, and I know for Michael Caines, this is such an important subject and we are merely scratching the surface when looking at the millions children who go hungry every day during the school holidays.”
[i] Bidfood’s Action Against Holiday Hunger activities across each depot:
- Bidfood in Gateshead partnered with The Aukland Project to supply over 6100 meals to children in the North East of England
- Bidfood’s Welsh depots worked with Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris to support the Swansea Kid’s Lunch Club, to help support over 6000 children during summer
- Bidfood’s London depot partnered with long-standing food waste partner, City Harvest, to distribute food to holiday groups across the capital
- Bidfood in Slough fully fuelled the Good Grub at Langley College that feed over 70 children and their parents every Wednesday for the 6 week summer holiday.
- Bidfood in Reading donated supplies to the Whitley CDA summer projects to feed over 50 people each day throughout the summer holiday.
- Bidfood’s Stowmarket, Nottingham, Yorkshire and Sussex depot partnered with their local FareShare centres to help support over 110 projects across the UK. Bidfood Development Chefs Matthew Tracey and Damon Corey supported the campaign by volunteering their time at projects of FareShare’s beneficiaries