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#PSCPositivity – Schools, councils and suppliers step up to the plate

20th Mar 2020 - 09:11
We asked you for your experiences as caterers in meeting the special challenges posed by the impact of coronavirus. Sure enough, there are many examples of positivity coming through to us.

Matthew Knight, the catering manager at Hillstone Primary School in Birmingham says the team there is ‘looking at providing bags of shopping of staple goods for FSM [free school meals] families’. Not only will this provide food for those in most need, but will give business to independent retailers in the area. They have already set up a food delivery service via their independent veg supplier, initially for staff but looking at extending this to all parents, especially those struggle to get to the shops. He adds: “We are staying open for children with care plans and essential service workers’ children and will also offer to be a ‘hub’ providing food to other schools in our area.”

Nicola Joiner, catering coordinator for East Renfrewshire Council reports a food pack that has been developed to ‘ensure our vulnerable pupils are looked after’. It can be picked up or delivered to pupils homes via one of council’s catering vans. The packs include food for week, including pasta, wraps, tuna, tinned fruit and vegetables, cherry tomatoes, peppers, yogurt, tinned soup and cheese. It also has a can opener, a recipe pack, food safety information, and a suggested menu.

Equipment supplier Lincat has announced it will be prioritising catering equipment and spare parts orders for the NHS and public sector organisations and offering them a free, direct next-day delivery service.

The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is working with others in the city (including Fareshare, Real Junk Food Project, The Bevy and Chomp) to co-ordinate an emergency food response to the crisis. Moves include creating and distributing food parcels and bulk, cooked meals for those in poverty or unable to leave their homes. It is also looking to set up a network of food production units across the city in schools, where the food is delivered, cooked and packed for community organisations to distribute. Project manager Chloe Clark is still looking for sites, fridge storage capacity and unwanted stock. If you can help then email:

Vegetable supplier First Choice, which today donated food to staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, had its own special take on #PSCPositivity with a notice on its website that says: ‘Just to confirm – we are in business as usual, the only way we will close is if the government puts London on lockdown or the world decides to explode’.

Meanwhile, other parts of the industry have also announced how they will be helping, with sandwich chain Greggs is offering free hot drinks for all health, social care and emergency service workers and Scottish bakery and coffee shop chain Brownings Bakers committing to provide a free drink and a doughnut to NHS staff for a month.

If you want to share your own story then join the conversation using the hashtag #PSCPositivity or email us at:

Written by
David Foad