Big Fresh Catering

Carole and her team developed a rapid response to the changes needed in food provision for children and families across Vale of Glamorgan during Covid-19.

Initially, Big Fresh Catering Company provided lunch bags to all ‘eligible free school meal’ and ‘Transitionally protected’ pupils, by offering a pick up service from their schools. Realisation quickly set in that there was a relatively low uptake of parents/pupils attending their school to collect their lunch bags. The service developed to offer delivery service to all families who were either shielding or self-isolating and offered a lunch bag pick up from the school neatest home which wasn’t necessarily the school of attendance. Carole and her team found themselves providing provision to over 600 per day, but equally mindful that there were almost 3,000 eFSM and TP families in the Vale.

Quickly adapting to the demand, Carole decided to set up accounts with Asda and Tesco for the provision of eVouchers. On 1 st April, Big Fresh Catering Company sent 2,600 eVouchers via email and post to all the addresses they had from school records. Carole was mindful that this didn’t cover the total families needed to reach so Education ICT prepared an online eForm to collect data directly from parents. Schools supported the process by contacting parents and instructing to complete with necessary details as well as selecting the supermarket of their choice to spend the vouchers. The data they have received over the past few weeks has allowed the Big Fresh Company to send out vouchers to over 3,000 families every 2 weeks.

The Big Fresh Company adopted a flexible system which involves allowing access to make changes to the database should families decide to change the store of their choice.

The company continued with the eVouchers throughout Easter where parents don’t usually get any free school meal provision and will continue during this Whitsun week and the intention is to continue throughout the Summer holidays unless WG have a change of instruction.

The Big Fresh Catering company have also got 14 school hubs open for key worker children and vulnerable children where we are providing breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and evening light meal.  There will be an additional school hub open from 8 June.

Tremendous efforts have been made by Carole and her team providing a quick, helpful, wonderful service allowing people access to food during the coronavirus pandemic. A massive ‘Thank you’ to The Big Fresh Catering Company for your efforts during this challenging time.