During school closures and throughout the summer holidays we provided free healthy breakfast boxes to families vulnerable to food insecurity across Lambeth and Southwark.
Our Breakfast Boxes programme was designed in partnership with Impact on Urban Health, a part of Guy's and St Thomas’ Charity to ensure that children received the nutrition they need to thrive. Now with Lockdown 3 upon us, the work continues with breakfast boxes available to all schools in Lambeth and Southwark. You can read more about that here.
Thanks to support from Unicef, we were able to continue the programme throughout the Christmas holidays and will support families during February half term and Easter. And with the generous donations received from the public, we can now reach even more families so that their children can start the day with a healthy nutritious breakfast.
Since our Breakfast Boxes 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.
We learned lots along the way and you can read the programme evaluation here.
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. Abel & Cole also kindly donated 2,000 extra pieces of organic fruit each week to supplement the breakfast offer.
“These boxes have been such a life line for parents, they have absolutely loved them” (Lambeth Assistant Headteacher)
But we could not have reached this scale without the incredible co-operation of 108 participating schools and 58 Kitchen Social Hubs, whose dedicated staff and volunteers have been organising, packing and distributing the boxes. And this programme is not just about the food. The breakfast boxes have also been a crucial way for teacher to keep in touch with families during these challenging times.
“The programme is an opportunity for schools and hubs to connect with families and children beyond food needs, particularly in the summer holidays” (Oval Cluster Lead)
We didn't stop at breakfast. In partnership with Chefs in Schools , 5,314 lunch hampers filled with 106,380 lunches have been distributed to families across Lambeth and Southwark. These healthy hampers are a mixture of dry goods to cook such as rice and vegetables, combined with fresh meals from restaurant partners Mission Meals, Wahaca and Hawksmoor.
Delicious and diverse menus have been well received by families. In recent weeks, a range of healthy snacks provided by Mission Ventures have also gone down a treat as an added bonus in lunch hampers.
“Parents are so impressed with the quality of food, it tastes amazing and very culturally appropriate to all. So many are touched.” (Southwark Teacher)
Such a collaborative approach for both breakfast boxes and lunch hampers has only been made possible thanks to our funders, Impact on Urban Health, part of Guy's and St Thomas’ Charity.
Our Breakfast Box programme is the winner of a Silver Award in the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Read more about the award here.