July 19, 2024

Restaurant group and enterprise hub serve-up 900+ healthy food boxes for children

AN ACCLAIMED restaurant group and social enterprise organisation are serving up more than 900 wellbeing food boxes for families in North Wales.

Led by the Children’s University and supported by Menter Môn’s Neges scheme, the initiative is funded by HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales).

The boxes will be given to children in Wrexham, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Conwy, Anglesey, and Flintshire, and contain locally sourced ingredients and recipe cards to help educate pupils, parents and carers on nutrition and healthy eating.

The food and drink will be prepared and distributed by the award-winning Dylan’s group, which has restaurants in Conwy, Llandudno, Criccieth, and Menai Bridge.

Nina Ruddle, Head of Public Policy Engagement at Wrexham University – a driving force behind the North Wales Children’s University – said the collaborative project will benefit hundreds of people living in areas of food poverty across the region.

“Healthy eating is a challenge for young people in certain areas, so we want to develop the food boxes with locally sourced items where possible, with the aim of encouraging families to cook together and enjoy a fresh, hearty meal,” said Nina.

“We are working with schools in each county and there will be three meals in a box with delicious ingredients, and information cards will come with a QR code that opens to YouTube videos demonstrations, so they can cook along with them.”

She added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to extend the reach of the Children’s University while working alongside Menter Môn and Dylan’s, who have been incredibly supportive.

“The project is a pivotal element of our overarching civic mission, with the aim of ending social inequality and developing strong partnerships to tackle key issues facing families across North Wales and beyond.”

Menter Môn’s David Wylie added: “We hope this will be the start of a long-running collaboration that will help families in this region.

“This is a chance for us to really make a difference to how young people in particular approach food and nutrition, encourage healthy eating and also develop independent skills for the future – we are privileged to be a part of it.”

David Evans, Dylan’s owner and founder, said: “This project fits perfectly with our mission of showcasing the best that this region and nation has to offer. We are extremely proud to be working with schools across all counties of North Wales, providing boxes full of fresh, nutritious food sourced wherever possible from superb local suppliers.

“Working on an initiative such as this gives the whole team a sense of pride, being part of something which supports so many families in our communities.

“We are proud to be partnering with North Wales Children’s University and Menter Môn, who share our commitment to supporting communities and driving positive change.”

Gwynedd’s Deputy Leader Cllr Nia Jeffreys reinforced those comments and says ensuring all children and young people in the county have access to locally sourced, healthy, and fresh food is a priority for the council.

“This scheme is to be welcomed and I hope it will complement the other food schemes currently available within the county such as the Gwynedd Community Hubs and Food Pantries,” she said.

“I am grateful to all the partners involved in this scheme and am optimistic it will be another way of breaking down some of the barriers preventing our young people from enjoying nutritious and affordable food.”

The project comes after local authorities in Wales signed up to the Larder Cymru Welsh Food for Schools pilot scheme – Wrexham, Flintshire, Anglesey, Gwynedd, Cardiff, and Caerphilly councils – with the aim of increasing the volume and range of Welsh produce purchased and used by education catering departments in their counties.

For more information, visit the website www.lardercymru.wales or email [email protected]. Alternatively, follow @mentermon on social media.