VENNER, a social enterprise that aims to tackle food poverty and improve health and well being in UK families, has partnered with the Montessori Group and nurseries to help low-income families in need of support across Liverpool and Manchester by providing healthy, plant-based recipe boxes, as well as nutritional support and education, to encourage families to take control of their health and well-being.
Working with Montessori and nurseries to identify the families who will most benefit, Venner will provide their plant-based food boxes for free. Each weekly box will contain all the ingredients for five evening meals, light snacks, fruit and breakfast for kids. Families will also receive a recipe book and meal planner with instructions on how to prepare and cook the meals, as well as access to more recipes and inspiration through Venner’s free online platform – Venner Kitchen.
The approach aims to encourage the whole family to take part in preparing meals together, understand what they are eating, provide education on why it matters and also support families with budgeting and meal planning; therefore empowering future generations to take control of their health and well-being.
Studies have shown that food poverty can mean poor nutrition, which then leads to a decline in physical health and well-being. For children, this can affect their performance at school and therefore continuing the cycle of poverty. A poor diet in childhood can also lead to long term developmental problems. By introducing a cost-effective, nutritious alternative via Venner boxes, the partnership aims to address the disadvantages of a poor diet.
Both organisations share the same child-led values and champion equality in childhood development and believe that every child has the right to reach their full potential in life, with good nutrition being key to this. The partnership will initially focus on Manchester and Liverpool, with plans to expand across the UK.
Venner, UK Country Manager, Laura Holland said:
“The Venner social enterprise started in 2018 in Finland as the Founders found that underprivileged families felt healthy eating was too expensive for their budgets and therefore they were more vulnerable to the negative impacts of a poor diet. By introducing an alternative diet, as well as the ongoing educational support, we have seen that we can positively impact families cooking routines, and by working with Montessori, we will be able to reach families in need quickly and enable more children to experience the benefits of a nutritional diet to enable them to have the best chance in life. Montessori Group is a long-term champion of equality for children, so having access to their network and expertise will be invaluable to our shared objective.”
Director of Academic Quality and Partnerships, Karen Chetwynd at Montessori Centre International (part of the Montessori Group) said:
“Being in the heart of local communities, Montessori nurseries understand the demand for support at a key stage in a child’s development. Venner’s Programme will help shape a new routine in households, offer new skills to parents and their children, create a positive attitude to eating healthy and create a respect for personal health. The boxes also demonstrate that healthy eating does not need to be expensive. We are really looking forward to distributing Venner boxes and recreating the success the social enterprise has had in their native Finland with families throughout the UK.”