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ISS celebrates gardening and plant-based eating in schools

3rd Jun 2021 - 06:00
The ISS UK Food Services school catering teams celebrated plant-based eating and gardening in the run up to half term (17-28 May) by engaging with schools nationally to encourage pupils to try healthier foods.

The caterer partnered with Innocent Drinks, who run their ‘The Big Grow’ initiative, to provide schoolchildren with gardening kits, seed packs and gardening themed prizes.

The first week kicked off on 17 May, alongside Public Sector Catering’s Plant-Based Week, and included a host of foodie themed events for primary schoolchildren to get involved with. Throughout the week all the children at the participating schools had the opportunity to try the plant-based dishes including saag aloo and beetroot hummus.

Over 750 pupils joined live virtual foodie sessions hosted by ISS’ chefs and nutritionists, where children watched plant-based cooking demos, took part in food activities and talked to the nutritionists about vegan-friendly ingredients.

Steve Kemp, Sector Director – ISS Food Services, Schools, said: “Every year we love to try something new with our spring Green Fingers campaign. Last year we were mid-pandemic, so held a wholly virtual celebration; this year we were able to do a great blend of both online and in-school engagement.

“We have been delighted with the uptake of the virtual sessions and great responses from those children and teachers who attended. Using digital tools to engage kids with food education means we can reach more children, so it’s definitely something we’ll continue, along with in-person visits when we can.”

During the second week 1,200 children joined gardening expert Chris Collins for online practical sessions where they talked about growing tips, planned gardens and planted seeds.

A teacher at Sunnyhill Primary School commented: “The children were really excited about designing their own gardens and they loved getting their hands dirty when planting their spinach, beetroot, radish and pea seeds.”

Written by
Edward Waddell