Following a really successful pop up at Richmond Hill Primary School on Monday (check out Twitter or Facebook for the little video they created and posted about it the same day), we returned this morning for a follow up meeting. The agenda: tackling food waste and meeting the nutritional needs of the children, through meals prepared in their fabulous cafe facility.
At a previous meeting, the headteacher had described the levels of hunger of some of the children in the school. He had observed a lesson when the teacher was using bananas to demonstrate weights, using scales to teach about comparing weights as ‘more than’ or ‘less than’. Apparently there was a kid in the class who couldn’t concentrate because he could only think about eating the bananas in the demonstration because he was so hungry.
Sitting around the table today was Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project, staff and parents from the school, and a couple of us from ToastLoveCoffee. Adam mentioned that just around the corner was the Yorkshire Produce Centre; a massive fruit and veg wholesaler. After the meeting, we all went on a little visit.
We met Dan, from the Centre, who explained why the crates of cucumbers we saw stacked up were for waste; apparently a few of them were slightly soft. Most of them were fine and in fact all of them were completely edible.
In the yard, we saw about 100 boxes of bananas stacked up. Probably about 3000 bananas. Dan said they were going to waste, and offered them to us. The Headteacher readily agreed and Dan offered to bring them round in his van.
So today, no child in Richmond Hill Primary was wanting for a banana. In fact, there would have been quite a few going spare.
And I left feeling proud, sad, happy and angry that once again this whole situation is, quite frankly, bananas.