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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

MasterChef Gary Maclean supports Meals & More Summer Holiday Clubs as Brakes pledges £500,000

MasterChef: The Professionals winner and father-of-five, Gary Maclean, was sharing his skills today at Dalmarnock Primary School where he worked with families to improve their culinary knowledge and skills and enable them to prepare simple, healthy and nutritious meals at home on a tight budget.
Brakes has committed £500,000 across five years to fund their Meals & More programme, providing holiday clubs in schools across the country during the school holidays. The number of clubs has grown considerably from two in Scotland last year to 26 this year. Dalmarnock Primary School is one of the schools facilitating a holiday club, which include a nutritious meal for each participant, with upwards of 100 attendees.

The Meals & More holiday clubs not only provide children and their families with nutritious meals but also education on healthy eating, recipes, activities and day trips.

Jabou Conteh, mother of Isafou, 5, Fafou, 9 and Sheriff, 9, (pictured) and an 11-year-old son at high school and a baby on the way, commented: "The lunch clubs are so important. The kids love coming here and I also enjoy it as I'm learning new recipes and discovering new ingredients every day. It's great as I can then try the recipes at home during the weekends."

Brakes recently announced a new partnership with Gary Maclean and the company is keen to utilise his skills as a chef and father of five in supporting the holiday club programme.

Gary Maclean, commented: “It’s great to come along to the school to meet with families who are eager to improve their understanding of nutrition and skills in the kitchen.

“I have five children so I know preparing healthy meals can be a struggle, and expensive – but it doesn’t have to be. My goal here today is to demonstrate that nutritious meals can be simple, affordable to make and delicious for all the family to enjoy.”

John McLintock, Director of Operations, Brakes Scotland, added: “Meals & More is a fantastic community programme that we’re extremely proud of and will continue to fund to help children and their families get great tasting, healthy meals during the school holidays. It’s not just about providing meals, it’s also about sharing skills and knowledge so families can replicate these practices at home in a simple and affordable way.”

The Dalmarnock Primary School holiday club is part of the Food, Families, Futures Partnership, delivered by Children in Scotland in partnership with local groups. Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said: “Holiday camps like these demonstrate how bringing together fantastic community assets can create experiences that are fun and hugely beneficial for children and their families. Having someone like Gary here to impart his knowledge, as well as the other community chefs who have been working with the families, is priceless.
“We believe keeping more schools open, free of charge, during the holidays could play a key role in tackling Scotland’s inequality challenge and be at the forefront of measures to reduce the attainment gap.”
Families who attended today’s holiday club at Dalmarnock Primary School got involved with preparing lunch, which consisted of carrot and coriander soup and shepherd’s pie. Attendees received a goody bag containing a recipe and ingredients to take home.
Councillor Chris Cunningham, Glasgow City Council’s City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years, said: “I’m sure everyone at the Dalmarnock Primary club was inspired by Gary’s tips on cooking healthy meals on a budget. Summer activities at the school are proving exceptionally popular with children as well as parents who are getting involved and lending a hand with preparing the meals for participants.
"School holidays are a joy for children but can increase pressure on families experiencing food poverty. This worthy project is helping, in some small way, to reduce some of that stress for Glasgow families as well as boosting parents’ confidence in the kitchen. I’m sure that learning from a Masterchef celebrity and sampling his dishes made it all the more enjoyable!”
Scottish foodservice provider, Brakes Scotland, announced their partnership with Gary in March. Gary supports the company’s unwavering commitment to sourcing local products, promoting the very best in Scottish produce and innovation. The partnership follows the launch of Brakes Scotland in 2016, part of Brakes’ UK operation, and further cements the company’s increased commitment to Scotland and its Scottish offering.

 

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