The pandemic has highlighted inequalities across society, but few occupied as many headlines and social media feeds as the shockingly inadequate lunches that were offered to children who were eligible for free school meals. As the pandemic gripped the nation and people were battling with job losses, business closures and serious illness, thousands of families who relied on children being fed at school were simply left with not enough to eat. In the wake of Covid-hero Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign to ensure that free school meals were rolled out during school holidays, children were offered meals, but their quality was seriously below acceptable standards. Pictures were appearing across social media of scant meal packs, woefully lacking in nutrition and children whose education and mental health was already suffering due to school closures, were facing the additional threat of malnutrition.
International School Meals Day on March 11th is a timely reminder of the importance of healthy school lunches. The 2021 theme is ‘eat for the health of it’, promoting affordable, nutritious foods and exploring the links between food and nutrition and children’s health, both physical and mental.
The initiative was set up to bring together children and communities across the world to share their varied experiences and discuss school lunch ideas.
At Quattro we celebrate any initiative that helps promote healthy eating in schools and supports another group of Covid-heroes – school catering staff. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, including during the school holidays, feeding the thousands of children of keyworkers and vulnerable children who continued to go to school. Dedicated catering staff had to adapt as children returned to school between lockdowns. Reinventing the school dinner included serving lunches in classrooms and staggered lunchtimes. Kitchen staff have been at the heart of getting kids back to school and parents and carers across the country applaud them.
Improving the health of our children is a priority. It’s critical that we get this right. At Quattro Foods we supply schools and colleges across the country and we are committed to healthy eating in educational settings. With our range of products designed for schools and colleges, we are helping nourish pupils, enabling them to learn productively and become the next generation of leaders this country so desperately needs.
Quattro’s Development Chef was part of the team that conceived new school menus, following Jamie Oliver’s acclaimed campaign to improve school meals. We understand the importance of keeping kids nourished and energised throughout the school day, and we understand the challenges faced by busy caterers in schools. Our products are designed to save school kitchen staff time in busy kitchens.
International School Meals Day celebrates those who feed little mouths and brains with nutritious and tasty meals during the school day and we are right by their side. Team Quattro is dedicated to ensuring that high nutritional standards are met in schools by supporting the initiative and continuing to promote health and wellbeing by manufacturing nutritious and balanced school meals.