The nine-year contract will see the creation of a new community-facing North Eats brand that will fuel children’s learning with nutritious and delicious food.
The contract will provide a living wage for employees working across the account while also engaging with pupils, parents and the wider community through a programme of educational sessions.
When Durham pupils return to school in September they will enjoy a delicious, seasonal and healthy menu that has been overseen by Chartwells’ award-winning culinary team. Sustainability was a key element of the successful tender process, using ingredients pupils love, to reduce waste and build a more sustainable world for our future generations.
Jim Murray, Durham County Council’s head of education and skills, said: “We know how important it is that our school children are provided with healthy and nutritious meals every day of the school term, helping them to stay focused throughout lessons. It is also encouraging that pupils, parents and members of the community will be learning more about all aspects of the food system through this new partnership.”
Chartwells will roll out their Beyond The Kitchen programme to all schools in the contract and their extended communities, delivering targeted workshops focused around five core themes: nutrition & health, cooking & food, mental wellbeing, sports & exercise as well as sustainability. Some of the workshops will be delivered from a converted double decker bus, complete with classroom and kitchen.
Charles Brown, managing director of Chartwells, added: “This progressive partnership marks a fundamental step change in how caterers and local authorities can work collaboratively to drive positive social outcomes for local communities, while tackling inequality and driving the Levelling Up agenda.
“We believe that the key to fuelling young minds comes from understanding both what they need and what they enjoy, which is why we develop nutritious and delicious food that pupils love, alongside helping to ensure a healthy body and mind. But this is just one part of the puzzle.
“We also take our role to educate and inform pupils and parents, as well as the local community, around all aspects of the food system incredibly seriously. This new partnership not only sees pupils benefit from our award-winning educational programme, but through the innovative portable classroom we can reach even more minds, while also providing help and support for the wider community.”