8th March 2021 — Holme Grange School partnered with Thomas Franks to deliver a six-week cooking course to provide an opportunity for the pupils to learn to cook and for families to enjoy time on a joint activity – all whilst supporting a charity where food is provided to those less fortunate, Feeding Communities.
The response has been overwhelming and Holme Grange pupils have been encouraged to cook with healthy ingredients, use different methods, try new dishes and eventually earn skills for life.
Each Friday night, parents and children collected their food box containing the ingredients needed for the meal that week, prepared by Azdin (the School chef) together with colleagues from Thomas Franks.
Once home, the families would watch an online ‘cook along’, pre-recorded with Thomas Franks' chef, Gavin.
Children then independently prepared and cooked, watching and learning and having fun.
In just six weeks, the budding young chefs prepared meals including risotto, macaroni cheese, cottage pie, spinach and sweet potato curry, spaghetti bolognese and vegetable stew and dumplings.
The biggest benefit however has been the social enterprise and citizenship created through ‘giving back’ to the community.
All those subscribing to the programme paid a fee which covered the ingredients for the meals being cooked and distributed to those most in need in the Wokingham area.
Since March 2020, Thomas Franks delivered 350,000 chilled meals to those in need, extending through the winter months and using their empty kitchens to feed communities.
Head Claire Robinson has been "humbled each Friday evening delivering meals to those in need" and is "immensely proud of all the young people who have engaged with enthusiasm, curiosity and independence".
The programme has not only educated the children in the art of cooking but also brought families together during the national lockdown.