When it comes to improving the diet and thereby the health of the nation's children, we are all stakeholders.
As parents, we wish to see our children achieve their full physical and mental potential. As taxpayers, we welcome the savings in NHS expenditure that a decrease in the rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes would deliver. And, as industry professionals, we recognise the positive impact our businesses stand to derive from our children having a mature, healthy and respectful relationship with the food they eat.
Perhaps more than any other industry, hospitality has a vested interest in encouraging children to engage with food and cooking. For any food service-based operation to prosper, it needs to attract employees with a passion for cooking and serving great meals, and customers with a passion for eating them.
That's why Caterer and Hotelkeeper and Caterersearch.com are this week joining forces with the Local Authority Caterers Association to call on the winning party at the forthcoming General Election to make a firm commitment to the continuation of the school meals service.
By signing our petition and supporting our School Meals Matter campaign, you'll be sending a clear signal to the incoming Government that you believe school meals are good for the health of the nation, and good for the hospitality industry.
However, your involvement need not end there. Many hospitality operators already give up their spare time to work with local schools to spark a lifelong friendship with food among schoolchildren - people like the chefs of Chefs Adopt a School, a hugely creditworthy initiative that this week celebrates its 20th anniversary.
In the coming weeks, we'll be offering practical guidance on how you can spread the food gospel in your local communities. By supporting us, you'll be ensuring fresh generations of hospitality workers and customers, and therefore future-proofing your own business.
Mark Lewis, Editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper