Tesco school cooking scheme

Tesco is to inject almost £5m into a new partnership with a charity teaching children in poor areas of the UK how to cook.

The move will see its Tesco Eat Happy Project back the Children’s Food Trust network of school cooking clubs.

The retailer said the new clubs would be concentrated in disadvantaged areas with a high proportion of low income families, where improving cooking skills can have the greatest impact for children.

It said research showed children from poorer homes are more likely to be obese – over a fifth of children from low-income households were classed as obese in 2013, compared with only 7% of children in higher income groups.

The Children’s Food Trust said that as well as keeping around 3,000 existing clubs going, this new partnership with Tesco would help the Trust set up an additional 1,000 clubs across the UK during 2016, meaning up to 72,000 more children will benefit from learning how to cook.

“If we want children in the UK to eat better, we have to give them the skills they need to cook - and companies like Tesco can have enormous influence to make that happen so we’re thrilled to be working with them,” said Linda Cregan, chief executive of the Trust.

“This funding is an incredible opportunity to give many more children the chance to make that connection between where food comes from and the meal on a plate.”

Josh Hardie, corporate responsibility director for Tesco, added: “The Tesco Eat Happy Project is our long-term commitment to help the next generation have a happier and healthier relationship with their food. “A crucial part of this means giving children the tools they need to make better decisions about what they put on their plates when they grow up. “