Case Study: Kent County Council
Kent County Council organised a Kentish Food Week during British Food Fortnight. Over 347 schools took part by offering local recipes and menus during school dinners.
Some of the recipes included Kent reared pork sausages with onions, Appledore Chicken Pie, Oast Quiche, Gypsy Tart with Cox Apple slices, and Kentish Huffkin. The schools that took part in the initiative saw an 8% increase in uptake in school dinners during the week.
A “create a picture” competition was also organised in all the day special schools – the Council provided vegetables and the schools created art work. The winning school received a £100 garden voucher presented by paralympian Danny Crates.
The Council sourced local food and drink through five approved contractors. They all use as much fresh local produce as possible and three small contractors all use locally produced meat. Schools sourced all of their vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, carrots, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes) locally. Over 2520 sausages made with Kent Pork were served on the Monday by one contractor, while another served nearly 3000 beef burgers made with local beef on the Thursday. One contractor reported an increase meal uptake by 4000 over the week. Another showed increases in uptake of between 4-8% per day, and another a 10% increase.
Fliers went out for every primary school child to take home along with posters for every school. Menus and recipes were posted on trust web and also available on www.kent.gov.uk.
Councillors Leyland Ridings and Kevin Lynes joined Sherwood Park Primary for breakfast on the first day of Kentish Food Week and carried out a live radio interview on Radio Kent about the event.
In the future it was planned to take longer researching Kentish recipes to enable all caterers the opportunity to offer their children as much local food as possible and to start organising the event 9 months before to generate maximum publicity and support. Also, in discussion with Food for Life Partnership, to roll the programme out across the whole County.
Mark Sleep, Client Services Manager, Kent County Council said "350 schools in Kent took part in British Food Fortnight and we’ll definitelybe doing so again next year - I would love to see the whole of Kent getting involved, pubs, hotels and hospitals!”