Third Sector Awards: Charity Partnership of the Year – School Food Matters, Impact on Urban Health, Chefs in Schools for Breakfast Boxes

Awarded to a partnership between two or more charities that has enabled the partners to more effectively deliver services to beneficiaries, reach new groups or reduce costs.

Charity Partnership of the Year – School Food Matters, Impact on Urban Health, Chefs in Schools for Breakfast Boxes

What is the background?

When the pandemic hit, School Food Matters sat down with its partners, Impact on Urban Health and Chefs in Schools, to work out how best to support families through the crisis. While the government had committed to providing free school meals, there was limited provision for breakfast as all school breakfast clubs had closed.

What did the partnership do?

With the backing of Impact on Urban Health, School Food Matters began supplying nutritious breakfasts to schools in Lambeth and Southwark. The breakfast boxes were designed to meet the school food standards, with each containing enough food for 10 healthy breakfasts, including lots of fresh fruit. Local wholesaler The Menu Partners supported distribution. Schools acted as hubs for families and were responsible for receiving, packing and distributing the breakfasts, along with local volunteers, including the Met police.

Discovering that one in four of the families needing help was not entitled to the support offered by government to cover lunch, Chefs in Schools mobilised to deliver hampers containing a mix of dry goods and fresh vegetables to cook at home, combined with fresh ready-made meals from local restaurants. If families were unable to collect from school, Spare Hands provided volunteers to deliver to homes.

What has it achieved?

Over lockdowns and school holidays, the partnership has delivered one million breakfasts to more than 15,000 children across 200 schools and children's centres. Breakfast Boxes provided an opportunity for children to try new foods and facilitated invaluable conversations with schools about children's health and nutrition.

What did the judges say?

“A brilliant example of organisations pivoting in response to the pandemic, and working together for a shared cause.”

Highly commended

  • Alive and Kicking and Better, for The Football Library


  • See, Hear, Respond Partnership
  • WHAM (Warmer Homes, Advice and Money)
  • It's Okay mental health helpline
  • 20 for 20
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