Five Enfield schools provided 1,500 hungry students with festive-themed, healthy, burgers made with ingredients that would have otherwise been destined for the bin.
Enfield Council’s school meals provider, Enfield Catering Service, teamed up with charity The Felix Project and sustainable meat producer Canvin & Catchpole to show how decent food can be made into nutritious meals, helping to reduce the millions of tonnes of food wasted each year in the UK*.
Even Tottenham Hotspur FC hero Harry Kane offered support for the initiative, with a message posted on social media commending the work of Enfield Council (while sporting a festive jumper rather than his usual football kit).
The ‘Ready Steady Christmas Burger Day’ also highlighted the growing injustice of school age children going without food. In London alone, 400,000 children are experiencing hunger. One of The Felix Project’s aims is to collect fresh, nutritious food that cannot be sold and deliver this surplus to charities and schools to provide healthy meals and help the most vulnerable in society. The Felix Project already works with 39 schools in Enfield, making sure hundreds of children are fed and making sure good food is not thrown away.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “What a treat! This project is a fantastic way for children to understand the importance of sustainability and the impact that food waste can have on the environment. The project also shines a light on the thousands of children who go hungry, particularly during the holiday season. This is why Enfield Council is rolling out a £1.1 million programme to make sure those who get Free School Meals will also have access to PayPoint payments during Christmas and the February half-term holidays so that no child will go without decent food while out of school.”
The healthy burgers were made with good quality meat from Canvin & Catchpole and pulses, served with vegetables provided by The Felix Project. Vegetarian meal options were also offered. The Council’s Enfield Catering Service was supported by professional cooks from the restaurant and catering industry from Chefs in Schools, an organisation that oversees quality and menu creation. The festive meals were served on Tuesday 15 December at: Forty Hill, Raglan, St Edmund’s, St Michael’s and Garfield primary schools as part of the lunch-time service.
All families who qualify for the Winter Food Grant will be contacted directly by Enfield Council. More information and frequently asked questions are available online. If you are concerned about financial hardship, seek out advice at www.enfield.gov.uk/financialhardship .
*Food waste is one the biggest sources of waste in north London and one of the most environmentally damaging. Every year, around 6.6 million tonnes of food waste is generated by UK households, 70% of which could have been avoided. Source: NLWA