Staff from Westmorland Primary School standing outside the front door with a trolley of food.

Westmorland Primary School: Feeding Families in the School Community

One child asked for more than one container of food for the rest of his family, he clearly knew that his family struggled managing money. He said “When I take this home for tea tonight, Mum will be able to go and get gas this weekend, it ran out on Wednesday” – his beaming smile told me that he was delighted that he had been able to help feed his family.

FareShare Greater Manchester has been working with Westmorland Primary School in Brinnington since 2020. We have been supporting the school with the MORE Food school scheme which allows parents to access food support for their families.

In February this year, we expanded our partnership through the FareShare Foodies cooking project with the aim of using catering sized and frozen surplus foods to cook a meal for each child to take home with them.

On Fridays, and over 4 cooking sessions, 610 meals were prepared by the school’s amazing cook, Sharon Reilly from the Totally Local company.

Ten recipes were produced; corned beef hash, katsu sweet chicken curry, vegetable curry, spaghetti carbonara, sweet chilli chicken noodles, sweet and sour chicken, pepperoni noodles in tomato sauce, plant based tikka curry, chicken in laksa coconut sauce and smoky bean vegetable chilli.

Sharon Reilly, Westmorland Primary School’s cook said “with the backing of Totally Local, the company I work for, I really enjoyed creating meals for the Westmorland school community. The food provided by FareShare was of exceptional quality, making it a pleasure to prepare these meals for our children”.

A member of staff at Westmorland Primary described their experience of the project; “One child asked for more than one container of food for the rest of his family, he clearly knew that his family struggled managing money. He said ‘When I take this home for tea tonight, Mum will be able to go and get gas this weekend, it ran out on Wednesday’ – his beaming smile told me that he was delighted that he had been able to help feed his family.”

“An amazing project”

Martin Henderson, Headteacher at Westmorland Primary School, says the partnership has had many benefits, “It was an amazing project to become involved in alongside FareShare Greater Manchester. Working on this project allowed me to understand more fully how much even the youngest children think about, and indeed worry about where the next meal might come from. Over more than 20 years as Headteacher here at Westmorland Primary, I had not realised how much the children understood about the cost of food and budgeting for food.”

Feedback for the project has been positive from the families who benefitted with one parent commenting “my son ate foods that he would never try at home – it’s a great project” and another saying “thanks to everyone at FareShare and those that donate to FareShare for making this project happen. I hope it will continue.”

If you are from a school or organisation which caters for the community you serve (in addition to school meals) and you’re interested in finding out more about our catering offer, please contact membership@emergemanchester.co.uk

Food in food servery Containers of food on a catering kitchen counter

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