Sponsored by spuds: feeding Lincolnshire’s children over summer

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Thanks to national potato supplier Branston – more than 2,200 children across Lincolnshire will receive a portion of spuds and delicious recipes to inspire their cooking.

Lincolnshire County Council is running the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which will support children in the region who are eligible for free school meals during the summer break. Backed by Branston, the initiative will help children and their families realise the versatility and economical nature of fresh potatoes.

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting many and the school holidays can be a cause for concern for families, with parents forced to look at ever more cost-effective ways to keep their children fed and entertained whilst at home.

The government-funded HAF programme supports thousands of children across the county, who are invited to attend fun activity sessions across 85 venues in Lincolnshire, including sports centers, community halls and schools.

Encouraging healthy eating is a key part of the programme. So, Branston has donated over three tonnes of potatoes along with recipe cards featuring a range of tips and hacks to save time, energy and money that will not only teach kids some basics of home cooking but provide part of a meal for a family.

Food education crucial

Simon Telfer, HR director at Branston, said: “Getting involved with the local community is incredibly important for us. Providing food education from a young age ensures children are aware of how their food is grown and the best ways to cook it.

“As part of our support, we’re providing recipe cards with simple and tasty meals to help families stretch their spuds for maximum output. The recipes include bubble and squeak patties, creamy mackerel stuffed skins and plenty of helpful tips. There are tips on cooking in a microwave or on the hob, reducing the energy required for an oven and removing the barrier for those families that don’t have access to one.”

In addition to donating potatoes, Branston has also funded a series of cookery classes hosted by Eamonn Hunt, which has been set up through his social enterprise, GoGro. Eammon will present 20 sessions, sponsored by Branston, to children on the HAF programme, which will involve hands-on cookery demonstrations and education around ‘field-to-fork’ food.

Mr Telfer added: “It was important to us that we offered the children some skills and education as part of the programme. We’re pleased to have the involvement of Eamonn to build a buzz around food. The aim of the sessions is to get kids passionate about what they’re eating and showing them that a simple spud can be turned into a tasty meal.”

Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We’re very grateful to Branston for their generous donation, which will greatly benefit the children taking part in the HAF programme. The HAF programme is a way of ensuring all local children have a happy, healthy school holidays, and it’s wonderful to see local businesses lending their support, either by making donations like this or helping organize and run the clubs themselves. This summer’s programme looks set to be one of the best yet, so if your child is eligible don’t miss out.”

The HAF programme will run from 25 July to 2 September throughout the school holidays in the region. It is accessible to any child aged between five and 16 years in receipt of free school meals or other benefits related to free school meals such as young carers and refugees. You can find further details at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-pupil-support/holiday-activities-food-programme.

For more information on Branston visit: https://www.branston.com

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.