ImpactAlpha, October 3 – London-based impact investor Bridges Fund Management has invested an undisclosed amount in a new initiative to serve healthy school lunches to primary and secondary students in the U.K.
One in five school children are overweight or obese when they begin primary school—a problem that only becomes worse as children age. By the time students complete primary school, roughly one in three are overweight.
“Helping children to eat more healthily in schools is a crucial way of tackling the rise in childhood obesity—one of our biggest public school challenges—while also improving educational attainment,” Bridges’ Emma Thorne said in a statement.
The new initiative, called The Impact Food Group, is a partnership between school catering company Cucina Restaurants, which currently serves 50 English schools, and Innovate Services, in which Bridges already holds a majority stake. Bridges’ funding will support Cucina’s management team and enable the partners to expand services to 200 schools.
The overall U.K. school catering market is now worth £2 billion ($2.6 billion) per year and serves 8.3 million students in 22,000 schools.