National School Meals Week 2020 was a roaring success despite the restrictions

National School Meals Week (NSMW) has now been running for almost 30 years, and during what continues to be very strange times for us all, NSMW had added importance this year. Some Children continue to be away from the school environment due to isolation periods and, following the many months away from education in the spring/summer, many school caterers are still being asked to serve packed lunches in the classroom, the return to hot meals has been staggered across the country. Many schools continue to make different arrangements as everyone finds their way through what best works for them. It’s challenging to say the least.

We know NSMW2020 looked very different this year as school caterers were already working very hard to feed children safely and in a timely manner over lunch. I doubt anyone who took part will forget this one! LACA would like to thank Proveg, Food for Life and Love British Food for their support during the week but of course the biggest thanks goes to our Key Workers – the frontline catering staff who, despite all the challenges, went to great lengths to create a fun week for children and promote the importance of eating hot meals at lunchtime and supporting local British food producers.

The week concluded with the ‘Thank you key Worker Day’, where children across the country made cards for their catering staff, gave flowers and presents to say thank you and Head Teachers and Catering Managers got involved presenting certificates. It was a great way to end the week and much of it was covered on social media. The week gained support from various influential people within the industry and beyond, many MP’s also getting involved and sharing their messages of thanks to catering staff for their hard work.

To see more, visit our social media pages here to follow all the stories and messages

Thank you to everyone who got involved. Please visit the news pages and follow us on social media to read all the news and events that happened during the week.

Marching back to school lunches, another great LACA promotion to get children back to eating hot meals

In Autumn 2020, many school caterers used LACAs Hot’ober campaign and resources to advise parents ‘Hot Food’ was back on the menu. As we head into the spring and as children return to the classroom, we have created ‘Marching Back to School’ for a similar purpose.

You will find posters, letters, stickers, social media ads plus everything you need to run a successful promotion. We know things continue to be tough but we are here to help you. Please click here to find the free resources which can be personalised to fit your service.

Contact for help and advice on continuing with your promotion. You will find a guide and help from many food suppliers on making a return to hot meals here.

Save the date, National School Meals Week (NSMW) 8th – 12th November 2021

We are delighted to announce the date for NSMW2021, it will be held 8th – 12th November. Please update your calendars and planners and get ready for another important week in the school catering calendar. We will bring you details of the events and how you can get involved nearer the time.


NSMW has now been running for 30 years and is a flagship promotion organised by LACA, The School Food People. A key objective is to promote the importance and benefits of choosing a nutritious school lunch at mealtime. Each year, it engages in other important messages relevant to the time. NSMW had added importance last year with children continuing to be away from the school environment due to isolation periods and many months away from education. It is more important than ever that children return to eating hot balanced meals at lunchtime. Although NSMW is planned for November, this website contains tools and resources to help promote the school catering service throughout the year.

Aims for NSMW 2021

LACA looks forward to more children being able to celebrate the event this year as we hope Covid restrictions will be a thing of the past. We are busy planning theme days and campaigns that children, parents, schools and caterers will want to engage with. Ideas and plans are coming to plan. Keep checking in to see how the plans unfold and to stary in touch, follow us on social media.

Thank you for your support in 2020

Thank you to everyone who got involved last year, we know it wasn’t an easy undertaking. NSMW and Hot’ober helped many schools return to serving hot meals following the break in service and many not being able to produce hot meals with restrictions in their schools. The campaign was a roaring success. Images can be found on the gallery pages of this website.

We know things continue to be tough but we are here to help you. Please click here to find free resources which can be personalised to fit your service.

30 School Meals Heroes

See LACAs 30 School Meals Heroes – read their story.

Jump in


Although NSMW’19 has come and gone, feel free to click on the button below to download and use a selection of materials that you may find of use throughout the year.



See pictures/videos of what happened during NSMW 2019 (and in previous years).

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Date for your Diary

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