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'Souper' powers for young chefs

Love Middlesbrough website

There’s a ‘souper’ healthy treat in store for youngsters at primary schools across Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) has teamed up with Tesco and other local supermarkets to deliver a unique project to increase the amount of veg people eat.

With the focus firmly on fresh ingredients, the Soup Bag project is teaching home cooking skills and the value of eating healthier meals together within family budgets.

Middlesbrough Environment City will deliver simple cooking demos in schools on how to make tasty and healthy soups, and the school will then ‘adopt’ that soup as their own.

At the end of the session every pupil will be given a Soup Bag with all the ingredients for the school soup and a step-by-step simple recipe card to take home and cook with their family.

Tesco’s Coulby Newham Superstore is supporting the project, supplying all ingredients for the pilots at Sunnyside Academy and Hemlington Academy primary schools.

Sunnyside Academy have 324 pupils with 37.3% on free school meals and Hemlington Academy have 318 pupils with 36.8% on free school meals. Hemlington Academy is also in a ward where 14.2% of children are living in poverty.

The Soup Bag project will be launched at Sunnyside Academy on Tuesday (February 26).

MEC Food Partnership Manager Joe Dunne said: “It’s well known that a healthy, balanced diet is vital, whether we’re at school, at work or at leisure.

“Fresh, nutritious soups are a great way to get the goodness we need, and they’re easy and cheap to make.

“The Soup Bag project will see our budding young chefs pick up valuable new skills which they can share with their families, and which will stand them in good stead in later life.”

Following the pilot scheme, MEC will work with Tesco and other local stores to roll out the Soup Bag project to more schools across Middlesbrough as part of the existing Hearty Beats initiative.

Growing sites on the school grounds will be utilised or set up so pupils will be able to grow the ingredients for the school soup.

The Soup Bag project is also a part of the national Veg Power campaign #EatThemToDefeatThem as seen on ITV and on social media.

Tuesday’s launch event will also start a local poster campaign, as well as all primary school pupils receiving a Veg Power sticker and reward pack to encourage them to eat more veg and get involved in Veg Power.