LACA create flexibility around NSMW 2020

As the country continues to find ways to deal with the challenges brought about by Covid-19, the school catering industry lead association, LACA, is working hard to support school caterers and suppliers alike through these troubling times.

National School Meals Week (NSMW), a popular theme event for almost 30 years, is due to comment on 9th November this year, for Wales however, following the recent announcement of the ‘firebreak’, many children will be away from the school environment right up until 9th November, making it difficult for school caterers to plan for / participate in NSMW.

With so many children not in school and with the rise in unemployment – inevitably leading to increase need for  Free School Meals (FSM), the importance of promoting school food and making sure parents understand what a modern day school meal is like, has as much relevance this year as in previous years, if not more so and a likely outcome from NSMW  2020 is that  parents, eligible to apply for Free School Meals, will hear the ‘noise’ created by NSMW and look more at what they may be entitled to.

Hot’ober has been a huge success and we area already seeing signs of more engagement with NSMW as part of ongoing communication. LACA were able to be flexible around Hot’ober, adapting and amending a Welsh alternative of the logo to give longevity to the promotion to roll into November. We plan to do the same with NSMW.

There are lots of FREE resources already available for NSMW – many currently have the date of 9th – 13th November on them. This will continue to be the ‘official’ date for NSMW, however, for those who wish to use the resources and want to run it a week or two later to accommodate local lockdowns, LACA are happy to amend the resources and provide them to school caterers without the date on, or a changed date. The national communication for NSMW will still be centred around the main week, but at least this gives flexibility for school caterers to run a ‘rescheduled’’ NSMW if they so choose.

There are many significant messages being made during NSMW, one being that school catering staff are key workers in their own right and have been serving school food throughout the pandemic, including during the school holidays and, for that, the country as a whole is very grateful. School caterers continue to be at the heart of all that is happening and we thank you for your dedication and hard work. That’s why one day of NSMW 2020 has been dedicated to them, please show your support and get involved. We want to say thank you on a national scale to each and every one.

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