Pupils at Sharp Lane Primary School in Middleton have worked in partnership with Rethink Food to set up their own social enterprise in a mission to improve social, environmental, and educational outcomes.
On Thursday (19 January 2023) the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Robert W Gettings MBE JP and the Lady Mayoress, Cllr Lesley Gettings, officially opened their enterprise at a celebration event held at the White Rose Shopping Centre.
The work, part funded through Asda’s Better Starts programme, has inspired young people to become entrepreneurs, creating their own business name, logo, and slogan before applying for different job positions within their newly formed organisations.
The Sharp Lane enterprise is called ‘Deals On Wheels’. The children, members of the School Council, told me
“Our plan is to use stuff that’s about to go off so instead of it wasting it still gets eaten. We’re right next door to Asda, so we’re going to take what they would throw away and sell it in school.”
Miss Owens, Learning Mentor, added:
“We are only a couple of weeks in, so we are still trialling different locations around school, and the stall will be at parents’ evenings and other school events.
“They’ve got lots of ideas of how we can take it forward such as giving away meal recipe cards to encourage people to try new ingredients. The project is very much child led.”
The children are already learning lessons about pricing. Having set a price of 50p for anything you want, they told me they are now considering limiting it to 50p for up to five items. Profits from the stall will be used for School Council projects at Sharp Lane.
The project is one of 70 in schools across the country with each new enterprise distributing surplus food (approx. 75kg each week) to their own school community and support food security for children and their families by improving immediate access to food. At the same time this work will help to save the planet by offsetting CO2 emissions created through food waste.
Alongside the market stall enterprise, the Rethink Food Education programme provides access to a series of educational food-based modules. The lessons are underpinned by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and will empower children to make informed choices around food and sustainability.
Kevin Mackay, co-founder of Rethink Food said:
“The pupils have been inspirational to work with. They have shown that through positive action even in these uncertain times we can make a huge difference to people’s lives and at the same time protect our planet.”
For further details about Rethink Food visit www.rethinkfood.co.uk or @RethinkFoodUk across social media platforms. Tel: Kevin Mackay 07854 844179
Photo: Members of the Sharp Lane School Council with Miss Owens and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Robert W Gettings MBE JP and the Lady Mayoress, Cllr Lesley Gettings
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