Pupils, staff and parents have been participating in events and activities in support of World Food Day with an emphasis on helping people in food poverty in the Blackpool community.
Members of the school’s Pupil Council and Pupil Volunteer Group the Highfield Helpers organised a challenge to collect tins, bottles and packets of food and drink to support families in the local area. Generous pupils and staff smashed the target of collecting 20 items per tutor group and collectively donated 900 items to Blackpool Food Bank and Blackpool Amazing Grace, two local charities that the school supports all year-round.
The school’s World Food Day activities also saw pupils attending assemblies to raise awareness of food poverty and its prevalence locally and across the country, and to challenge stereotypes about people living in food poverty. In PHSE lessons, all pupils took part in workshops to learn about the importance of having a balanced diet. The next step will see all pupils take part in a healthy eating challenge in their form groups.
Year 7 pupil Kian Kane-Manderson said: “As part of my role on the Pupil Council, we want people to understand that it is not just homeless people who are going hungry. Blackpool Food Bank have told us that there are over 9,000 children in Blackpool living in food poverty. At least one of their parents could be working so they are not living on the streets but when something happens like rent going up, someone being ill or benefits being cut they can find themselves struggling.”
As part of the school’s long-term commitment to supporting those in food poverty and to ensure its pupils learn to cook and eat healthily, the school has opened Bill’s Kindness Kitchen. Each half term, pupils and staff volunteers will learn how to cook affordable and balanced meals. After a pupil vote, the budding cooks made a delicious leek and potato soup and a tasty chicken curry in the first session. All participants are able to take a sample of everything they make home with them along with a copy of the recipe, as well as making a batch of the food that is donated to local soup kitchens.
Isabell Scott from Year 10 said: “I have been a Highfield Helper for a few years now. I think our Kindness Kitchen is a great idea as it helps us to learn how to cook simple healthy dishes along with supporting our local community. As one of our STAR values, Service is very important to us so we believe it is our responsibility to make a positive difference in our local community. It’s also great fun!”
Andrew Galbraith, Principal of Highfield Leadership Academy, said: “Food poverty, both in our local community and further afield, is such an important issue. We are pleased that the whole school community has supported this initiative and that we are helping pupils to learn valuable lifelong skills such as cooking affordable and balanced meals. It is something that our staff and pupils all feel passionately about and we will continue to work with our Pupil Council and Highfield Helpers to deliver more activities throughout the school year.”