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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Good Food Fund to support 10,000 children in primary schools launches in Northern Ireland

Pictured are (l-r): students Amelia and Ava, catering staff Nell McCallion and Linda Milligan; Kieran Harding, BITC; Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour and Simon Little, Danske Bank.
Pictured are (l-r): students Amelia and Ava, catering staff Nell McCallion and Linda Milligan; Kieran Harding, BITC; Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour and Simon Little, Danske Bank.

The Good Food Fund, established by Business in the Community (BITC), has launched in Northern Ireland, designed to help tackle the issue of children’s nutrition within the school setting.


Founded by Belfast Harbour and Danske Bank, the Good Food Fund is supported by firmus energy, JP Corry, Lidl, Phoenix Natural Gas, Power NI, pwc, SHS Group, SSE Airtricity and Version 1.



According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, “nearly one-in-five people in Northern Ireland are living in poverty, including more than 100,000 children, and 1 in 14 households are in food insecurity.”


Following consultation with primary schools to establish the greatest need, and following input from its Cost-of-Living Taskforce, Business in the Community will run the Good Food Fund until December 2023.


Businesses can donate and schools can apply now.



How will the Good Food Fund work?


BITC are asking businesses to make a donation to the Good Food Fund that will be used to provide the following to primary schools:


• Breakfast Clubs


This will involve partnering directly with schools across the province to support where impact is needed immediately.


Approximate cost per club is £3k per year to support approximately 65-100 pupils per week. However, schools could offer a lighter touch breakfast club (for example providing food fewer days a week) at a cost of around £1k.



• Grab and Go baskets


This will involve Business in the Community directly funding the school from the Good Food Fund to ensure a Grab and Go basket is available to the young people every morning. This has been piloted in some schools in Northern Ireland with success.


It removes the stigma attached to breakfast clubs/free meals experienced by some older pupils.


Grab and go baskets are placed in classrooms or high traffic areas and include breakfast bars, fruit etc, produce that is easy to collect and eat on the move. Approximate cost per Grab and Go basket is £30-50 per class per week.



• Supply of white goods


This will involve Business in the Community directly funding the school from the Good Food Fund to ensure the required White Goods are procured in a fair and cost-effective manner. These are goods that will help safely store or prepare food such as fridges, toasters etc. £50 could buy a school a toaster and crockery/cutlery for a breakfast club, £150-200 could buy a fridge to help with food storage.


BITC Managing Director, Kieran Harding said:


“The contribution businesses can make to society is undeniable. The offers of support through the Good Food Fund in Northern Ireland demonstrate how powerful the collaborative force of business can be.


“Together, we aim to provide support to more than 10,000 young people before the end of the year. We are asking businesses to make a donation to the Good Food Fund that will be used to help primary schools establish or extend a Breakfast Club, provide classroom Grab and Go Baskets, or enable them to procure white goods to help store/prepare food. Any support a business can provide will be very much appreciated.”



Businesses can find out more and donate by clicking HERE.


Schools can apply for the Good Food Fund by clicking HERE.


For general information, please visit the Business in the Community NI website by clicking HERE.


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