SquareLogo_500pxw_v6For immediate release: 30 July 2014
See: Press Release with editor’s notes and photos. (PDF)

Following a successful pilot, Cookability brings schools and supermarkets together to open up a new means of support for cooking in schools.

From September, changes to the national curriculum make learning how to cook, and prepare healthy meals, compulsory for all children up to age 14.

As schools across the country ready themselves to meet the challenge, an innovative programme recently trialled in Lambeth is helping schools access a novel source of support: supermarkets.

Last Autumn, Oasis Academy South Bank’s weekly programme, teaching 120 year 7 pupils how to cook and eat well, was under threat when it was unable to purchase food.

The school contacted Cookability, a London-based social enterprise that teaches young people how to cook and make good decisions about what to eat.

Cookability used its networks with supermarkets to secure food supplies for the school from local stores, including The Co-operative Food and Tesco.

With a sustainable supply of ingredients, Oasis continued teaching its weekly cooking programme.

The UK has the highest rate of child obesity in Western Europe, which costs the NHS about £4.2 billion a year. Anti-obesity campaigners, such as Jamie Oliver, argue that without cooking skills, people are less likely to make good choices about what, and how much, they eat, and tend to rely on convenience foods instead.

Cookability founder Michael Davies, agreed: “Knowing how to cook and eat well are essential skills that give young people healthier choices for living their lives.”

Now with a working prototype, Cookability is expanding the programme to help more schools deliver their new healthy cooking curriculum, with the support of supermarkets in their communities.