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LACA partners with Nourish Catering to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

11 Jun 2024
LACA, the school food people, partnered with education caterer Nourish to honour the 80th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings on Thursday 6th June with an event that paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who served during World War Two.

LACA joined forces with Nourish Catering to commemorate this pivotal moment in history when an estimated 150,000 brave men landed in Normandy marking a turning point in the war against Hitler’s Nazi Germany. D-Day was and remains to be the largest naval, air and land operation in history.

Anita Brown, chair of LACA, said: “We are delighted to be able to team up with Nourish and one of their schools to commemorate such an important occasion. We all reap the benefits of what our ancestors sacrificed, and this marks a very special occasion.”

The day began at Ashford Oaks Community Primary School in Kent where Anita and other guests met headteacher Phil Chantler and were given a tour around the school. Around 64% of the 400 children attending the school are eligible for free school meals compared to the average of 20% in schools around the country.

During an assembly to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day Anita highlighted the struggles of people during the war as they experienced food rationing. She encouraged the children to take advantage of the abundance of fruit and vegetables available to them by stressing “healthy food is really important.”

All the pupils were tasked with creating a D-Day poster to mark the 80th anniversary. Headteacher Phil praised the schoolchildren for their ‘brilliant entries’ and for their ‘incredible hard work’. The two winning posters were created by Lacey-Mae and Daisie who won a bag of gifts as well as the opportunity to enjoy lunch at Mark Sargeant’s MS Brasserie.

Anita alongside 2023 School Chef of the Year winner Raheem Morgan helped the Nourish catering team to serve the lunch menu for 280 pupils. Nourish, who caters for 198 schools, is the catering provider at the Kent school. Nourish has a themed calendar of events that their school caterers use to help create healthy, nutritious and delicious school meals.

The 80th anniversary D-Day lunch menu included Spitfire battered fish & chips, ration roasted root vegetable pie & chips and soldiers jacket potato spuds with a choice of toppings. These main meals were either served with peas of peace or blitz baked beans.

For dessert the schoolchildren had a choice of pink layered victory cake and comrades trifle. Nourish also provided syrup oaty biscuits and fruit pots. Nourish had a salad bar open too encouraging the children to enjoy a range of food including coleslaw, pasta and vegetables.

Mark Hammond, managing director of Nourish Catering, added: "It was an absolute pleasure for Nourish to come together with LACA to commemorate this momentous historical event. The children at Ashford Oaks were delightful and so excited by the visit.

"They listened intently during the special assembly and eagerly tucked into a D-Day-themed lunch. By sharing these events with younger generations, we can inspire them to continue to honour those who gave so much."

The group then travelled to The Restaurant MS in Folkstone to enjoy a top-quality meal made and served by LACA ambassador Mark Sargeant and his team.

A select group of individuals including Anita, Raheem, Phil and the schoolchildren experienced a Chef’s Table event, offering a culinary journey inspired by the wartime era. Attendees enjoyed music from and inspired by the 1940s, evoking the spirit of solidarity and resilience that characterised the era.

As a final mark of respect, the group travelled to a war memorial in Folkestone to lay a wreath symbolising our gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Guy Bartlett a representative from the Armed Forces delivered a fascinating speech about D-Day ending with the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon.