Hackney children star in celebrity-backed campaign for better school meals

A new star-studded campaign featuring Hackney children is on a mission to improve school meals.

A new star-studded campaign featuring Hackney children is on a mission to improve school meals for students up and down the country. - Credit: Chefs In Schools

Hackney school children are the stars of a celebrity-backed campaign asking people to 'give a sausage' about school food.

School children from Mandeville Primary School on Oswald Road in Lower Clapton appear in a video highlighting the importance of quality meals in school, describing so many schools as "stuck in the turkey dinosaur age'. 

School food charity Chefs In School's campaign kicked off today (September 29) and the video also features Hackney School of Food, which officially opened this month. 

The charity Chefs In Schools is transforming school meals. 

The charity Chefs In Schools is transforming school meals to boost wellbeing and health. - Credit: Mark Hewlett

Mandeville School is part of the LEAP federation of Hackney schools, which also includes Kignsmead and Gayhurst. 

The LEAP Federation began the process of transforming school meals years ago.

Louise Nichols, executive head of the federation, said: “School food is often overlooked in education as one of things that helps to develop happy, healthy adults. 

“Our schools are thriving, academic performance is some of the highest in the country, attendance is great and behaviour is brilliant. I don’t know how much of all that is down to the food; it is hard to quantify, but the boost to the school community’s esteem in so many ways is palpable.” 

The campaign started on September 29. 

The campaign started on September 29. - Credit: Chefs In Schools

Louise and former school head chef Nicole Pisani were so impressed by the impact of improving school meals, that they worked with Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon restaurants and author of the National Food Strategy, to set up the charity Chefs in Schools three years ago. 

Students from Mandeville School star in the Do You Give a Sausage campaign. 

Students from Mandeville School star in the Do You Give a Sausage campaign. - Credit: Chefs In Schools

Chefs, food producers and campaigners have backed the charity's campaign, such as The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, chefs Tom Kerridge and Chantelle Nicholson, healthy eating expert Amelia Freer, as well as cook and television presenter Thomasina Miers. 

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Teenage activist and Biteback 2030 ambassador Christina Adane is also involved, along with mum blogger Clemmie Telford.

Hackney School of Food was funded by donations and designed by architects Surman Weston.

Hackney School of Food also features in the campaign video. - Credit: © 2013 Mark Hewlett

Tom Kerridge, who co-founded Full Time Meals with the England footballer Marcus Rashford, said: “This is a cause close to my heart. 

"It’s heartbreaking to think that 4.2million children in the UK are living in poverty, no child should go to bed hungry but far too many do. Serving good food in schools is vital if we want children to learn and reach their potential.”

Learn more at https://chefsinschools.org.uk/giveasausage