Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL) recently supported the Fit, Fed and Read pilot programme at Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Fire Stations over the Easter school holidays, providing a delicious and nutritious lunch for the children attending the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) run programme.
Fit and Fed is a national StreetGames initiative which seeks to counter the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation.
Local activation of this national campaign has involved the creation of a Hertfordshire specific programme which focuses on healthy eating, sport and physical activity and improved literacy –Fit, Fed and Read.
Children who attended the programme were treated to a nourishing hot meal, prepared and freshly cooked by HCL, who also provide education catering facilities to over 450 schools, academies and colleges around the county. HCL also initiated special learning sessions so the children learnt about healthy eating choices and had the chance to see, feel and taste exotic fruits, concocting healthy smoothies using pedal power on smoothie making bicycles.
Participants also enjoyed a range of physical activity programmes and fun literacy sessions – including Horrible Histories – coordinated by Hertfordshire Libraries.
The programme, which is the brainchild of HSP Deputy Director, Jane Shewring and Herts Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander Steve Holton, has been a great success and the positive feedback from both the young participants and their parents and carers has been extremely positive.
Ian Hamilton, CEO of HCL, said:
“We are proud to support the Fit, Fed and Read programme, by providing, in partnership with our suppliers Bidfood and Histon Produce, a hot lunch for the children each day. At the same time we are delivering nutrition and food education activities that make learning about healthy eating fun.
“For some children this may be their only hot meal for the day, so it’s important we continue providing lunches throughout the school holidays and encourage nutritious, balanced diets. We hope the workshops will have a lasting effect on the children and their eating choices beyond the school holidays.”
Jane Shewring, HSP’s Deputy Director and Strategic Lead for Sport, said:
“The recent pilots at both Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Fire Station have been a huge success and an example of inter-agency partnership working at its very best. We are indebted to Steve Holton and his colleagues for the way that they have enthusiastically embraced this programme and their contribution has been nothing short of outstanding.”
“I must place on record too our sincere thanks to HCL and their suppliers and the Hertfordshire Library Service, as without their generous support, that success would not have been possible.”
“The success of this programme has been so great, we are now making plans to roll out the programme across Hertfordshire over the summer holidays”.
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