Harvest Fine Foods have been producing Cook at Home Boxes on behalf of City Catering for some years now. The Cook at Home scheme started through Covid, originally to ensure children who have free school meals have a fresh food box for the holidays. Over time the food box developed into a recipe box with menu cards and ingredients for the children with their families to cook at home all managed by City Catering and coordinated by Harvest Fine Foods. Usually, there will be 3 recipes in each box allowing each family to have 3 good quality, healthy, nutritious cooked meals that they can cook together. Getting children involved in preparation is also part of the idea to try to get the whole family to enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients together.
Historically City Catering had sought funding from a large business but unfortunately, in 2023 funding dried so as a key supplier to City Catering, Harvest were keen to support with Bidfood also being a large supplier to City Catering it seemed there were some synergies to make this happen.
City Catering, Harvest and Bidfood have all teamed up to fund and produce these boxes again for Christmas 2023. This means that 1,200 families from across Southampton City Council Schools will now get 3 hot, fresh, good quality and nutritious meals funded through the Christmas Holidays.
Each family will receive a box of ambient ingredients and a box of fresh ingredients along with recipe cards to create tasty meals with!
Did you know? Since Summer 2020 and Spring 2023, Harvest Fine Foods and City Catering have distributed over 13,100 #CookingAtHome boxes! That equates to 183,296 meals!!
Steve Whitwam, Managing Director of Harvest Fine Foods said “So many of us take for granted coming home from school or work and having a hot, nutritious meal but for many children having a hot meal at school is their only opportunity. When the holidays arrive, it can be a struggle for some families to make sure their children are getting a healthy balanced meal. When we found out that council funding wasn’t available this year for City Catering’s Cook at Home Boxes we felt compelled to try and do something to support our community. It makes such a huge difference and that’s why Harvest Fine Foods partnered with City Catering and Bidfood to bring this project to life and fund it ourselves while also supplying the labour and logistics to pack and distribute the Cook at Home Boxes to 1200 families across Southampton.”
The Cooking at Home boxes are due to be delivered in the week commencing 11th December to school sites ready for onward distribution and collection.