Chef Rob Kennedy, culinary director for Compass Group UK & Ireland working across Compass’ Chartwells group, has taken on a new role with foodservice supplier Brakes to promote the company’s Meals & More holiday Hunger charity initiative.
Brakes Group is a firm believer in the key role that industries play in society, alongside government and local communities and is committed to being a positive influence in the sectors, environments and communities that it operates within.
In the early 2000s, eradicating child poverty by 2020 was government policy and enshrined in law. However, following the global economic crisis, the government cut funding to support this social issue. In the last five years, a combination of the struggling economy and changes to policy has led to a significant increase in child poverty, which is defined as the inability to enjoy the basic rights to a healthy life, including: not having three meals a day; not having adequate housing; not having access to activity and learning; and an unsafe or insecure family unit.
In the UK, over 3.9 million children live in poverty (the equivalent of every person in Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff combined), yet 65% have a parent in work. The government has also identified around six million households who are ‘just about managing’ and at risk of falling below the poverty line. Child food poverty is estimated to cost society £29bn through lost tax receipts, benefits payments and services. The number and use of food banks is increasing – particularly during the school holidays – as the cost of living continues to rise.
As chef ambassador for the Meals & More programme, Kennedy will use his Compass and industry network to help promote and support the UK education awareness for holiday hunger.
“As part of Compass I have many contacts across the chef network and my aim is to bring as many culinary leads together to share recipes, work with suppliers, support dinners and events and promote the important values towards supporting children from across the country in the fight against holiday hunger,” said Kennedy.
For more information about the Brakes’ Holiday Hunger Meals & More charity visit: www.brakesgroup.com/responsibility/meals-more