Children at Severn View Primary Academy have been enjoying healthy, home-cooked meals, thanks to an innovative project introduced 18 months ago. Now this arrangement is due to go permanent.
The healthy meals project was the brainwave of governors, the Headteacher and parent, Debbie Young, following visits and meetings with The Cotswold Chef Rob Rees in his kitchen at Star College. Inspired by what was seen there the school governors gave Debbie the thumbs up to trial the project at Severn View. This project was an exciting and innovative way forward aiming at providing healthy meals for pupils and members of the community. The key to this innovation was to use surplus foods from local businesses based on what was Rob Rees’ model at Star College and the ‘Wiggly Worm’ charity (which Rees founded, and which seeks to use food to create better life chances for the disadvantaged). At the time this was to enable a reduction in food waste whilst providing tasty and varied meals that were cooked daily from scratch. However, such a model at that point had not been tried by a primary school. Keen to give this opportunity a go, Debbie launched herself into establishing links with many providers sourcing high quality vegetable and meats locally.
As an active proponent of social media and also a councillor with Stroud District Council, Debbie quickly raised the profile of the project, bringing it to the attention of TV producers, MPs and many visitors to see how this worked in reality. The project’s developing success has been followed by many on Twitter and Facebook.
The project, which has seen an ever-increasing number of pupils taking meals each week, is now being adopted by the school on a permanent basis, following some small adjustments to the model identified during the project phase. Debbie herself is going to seek out new horizons whilst continuing to carry out her important work with her numerous community responsibilities, and she goes with the school’s warmest thanks for having set the project on such a sure footing.
Meanwhile the governors are pleased to be able to announce that the project will continue to flourish with a new chef at the helm. Niko Mitropulos will pick up the chef’s hat and ladle in March following Debbie’s departure. The good work started by Debbie will be continued, providing the children and the community at Severn View with healthy meals cooked from scratch.