Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Thomas Franks Ltd, in conjunction with The Thomas Franks Foundation, have worked tirelessly to deliver meals and provide supplies to those in need through our Feeding Communities project. With generous donations and continued support from our clients and suppliers, Thomas Franks have to date provided over 200,000 across the UK and Malta. These free fresh, healthy, and nutritious meals, and food parcels have been delivered to NHS staff, key workers and vulnerable people of all ages.

Thomas Franks is now moving this project even further forward with its new programme – Beyond Education, Being Human – which, in partnership with a number of schools across the UK and Portugal, will involve engaging young people in learning how to prepare and cook a range of healthy and nutritious meals. They will set up weekly online cookery lessons, where pupils ‘watch and learn’, along with face-to-face weekly cookery lessons as well. It will also be built into the curriculum or offered as an after-school activity; the students will prepare up to 100 meals per session that will then be delivered to charities in the area local to the schools. Starting with an initial pilot in 14 different schools, for up to a maximum of 10 students per school, the team at Thomas Franks hopes that the programme will continue to grow and gain momentum.

Headmaster, Tyrone Howe, commented that “We are extremely proud to be one of the founding schools to offer the Thomas Franks ‘Being Human Beyond Education’ course. Not only will our pupils gain a recognised qualification in food nutrition, hygiene and safety, providing valuable life skills for their personal lives or future careers, they will be part of a charitable social enterprise that is worth even more than a certificate.

The Year 12 pupils will be helping cook up to 50 nutritious meals each week to be delivered to the Churches in Reading Drop-In Centre, which supports homeless and disadvantaged people living in the local community. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant only a limited service can be offered for their guests and so the meals prepared by the pupils will be going directly to those most in need during this difficult time.

Thank you to the Thomas Franks Foundation for providing this opportunity to our pupils and to the catering team at Shiplake for donating their time and knowledge to deliver the course. “

At the end of the programme, each pupil will achieve Level 1 Food Safety and Health and Hygiene Certificates. With the aim for younger pupils, under the GCSE age, receiving a Thomas Franks Certificate of Accreditation in Food Production and pupils above GCSE age, will be enrolled to gain a valuable NVQ equivalent in Food Cookery.

The vision of this exciting project is to not only encourage children in developing strong healthy eating behaviours to raise awareness about child obesity. But also to create a strong and sustainable legacy to eradicate food poverty through nurturing a deep sense of community understanding and a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and philanthropy.