Chris Cleghorn, Head Chef at Bath’s only Michelin starred establishment, the Olive Tree Restaurant, has enjoyed a morning making breakfast with the students of St. Martin’s Garden Primary School in Odd Down, as part of a local food charity’s latest campaign.
The Big Breakfast Week is a campaign run by a food redistribution charity, FareShare South West, who tackle food poverty by redistributing surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. The campaign aims to raise awareness of impact hunger can have on children as they attempt to conduct a school day, as well as celebrating the work of the breakfast clubs that use its surplus food to provide a solution to this issue.
The morning at St Martin’s Garden Primary marked the final day in a five-day campaign that saw top chefs from across the South West go into schools to make breakfast. “The morning at St Martin’s Garden was a lot of fun,” said Chris. “The children were so enthusiastic about making the fruit kebabs and the toppings of a honey or a berry compote I had made went down a treat. From apples, bananas, pineapple, melon and even kumquats, they definitely all got their 5-a-day.
“If I haven’t had my breakfast, I find it hard to concentrate and can get quite grumpy, so the reality that many children in our region are going to school hungry everyday as a result of parents struggling to afford food is unthinkable. When FareShare South West explained how it takes in-date, good quality food from right across the food industry and get that into breakfast clubs, which are often open to all students, it felt like such an obvious cause to support. By feeding these kids with nutritious food, they also prevent a huge amount of food waste, which is something I’m passionate about.”
“We’ve only recently started receiving food from FareShare South West, and we want to ensure as many children as possible can attend the club daily, so this was a great way to get the children excited about it,” explained Claire Parfitt, Headteacher at St Martin’s Garden. “More than 50 students enjoyed making their fruit kebabs with Chris on Friday – with many even asking for his autograph! It’s undoubtable that having breakfast makes a huge difference to the children’s concentration, general mood and wellbeing, so we’re sure the impact of the daily breakfast clubs in the long term will be significant.”
“Child hunger is a region wide and growing issue,” added Julian Mines, CEO of FareShare South West. “Our work with Breakfast Clubs is a vital way to ensure all children in our region are given the best opportunity to have a successful school experience. With vast quantities of surplus food available to us, we can use that as an immediate solution to this issue. Whilst that exists, we believe no child should go hungry. To keep supplying these breakfast clubs we do require support. Whether you’re a business who’d be able to sponsor us for an entire year at just £1m000, or an individual giver making a one off or monthly donation, we’re able to make a huge impact with your support.”
FareShare South West provides food to over 40 breakfast clubs across the South West, with four clubs in Bath and North East Somerset. FareShare South West has plans to expand its impact further into the BANES.
To find out more about FareShare South West or to donate to the Big Breakfast Week campaign, visit: www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk/bigbreakfast