Being a family business, we work hard to ensure that the family values we uphold are reflected in the work we do each day, in the products we make, and the relationships we build. So when we heard about the great work Launch Foods was doing, it was a no-brainer for us to whole-heartedly jump on board.
Getting off the ground
Launch Foods is a Glasgow-based, registered charity self-described as “an enterprise with a social conscience”. Founded by former restaurateur Craig Johnson and aided by his band of eager volunteers, Launch Foods are on a mission to feed the children of Glasgow. In Scotland alone, almost one in four children (230,000) are officially recognised as living in poverty. While Launch cannot solve this issue alone, the efforts of Craig and his team are making a phenomenal difference simply by providing free meals to children in Glasgow and crucially, showing them that people care. Simon Howie is one of a growing list of suppliers and partners, donating 50kg of meat to Launch Foods every week to help make this vision a reality.
We dropped by Launch Foods HQ in Finnieston last week and had a chat with Craig to discover how we’re making a difference and what more can be done.
“The idea for Launch came to me as I was watching the news one evening’, he recalled. “One news story talked about the appalling levels of food wastage in the UK, while another spoke of the growing problem of child poverty in the UK and I just thought, ‘Why is this happening?’”
“Every morning I wake up knowing there are kids to be fed in Glasgow, and that without our work, they would be going to bed with empty stomachs. That’s what motivates me’, he explains. “We’re feeding Scotland’s kids.”
Simon looks forward to seeing the impact of Launch Foods’ work and encourages others to help in any way they can, even if that is simply spreading the word about the cause.
“Launch foods is making a difference, no doubt about it,” said Simon. “Doing their bit to stop youngsters going hungry, giving them nourishment to help make their day a little more healthy and enjoyable. To think that kids are going hungry in Scotland, is a real source of concern so we are delighted to help where we can by providing food to Craig and his supporters at Launch Foods.”
Efforts are taking off
Since launch (pun intended), Craig and the team have supplied over 50,000 meals over the course of 42 weeks, which works out around 300 meals every day. That’s 300 children each day who have received a warm, nourishing meal who would otherwise have gone hungry through no fault of their own.
The meat donated by Simon Howie is crafted into a healthy meal packed with craftily hidden vegetables, from tasty wraps to warming curries. The food is then packed up into the van ready to be delivered into hungry little hands at the end of their school day.
Launch currently visits five primary schools across Glasgow, increasing to nine after the summer, which will place an even greater demand on the Launch Foods team. There is no rest to be had over the holidays either. While school is out, the team continues to hand out free meals to kids at Achieve More Scotland – a non-profit organisation that enables children in areas of high social deprivation to partake in sports and team-working activities.
The sky’s the limit
So what’s next for Launch Foods?
Plans are in place to open Launch Coffee in the coming months in a newly secured premises on Bothwell Street, which will use the proceeds as a sustainable source of income to help ensure they can continue to feed children across the city.
“The more income we can generate, the more children we can feed,’ Craig said simply. “It’s Scotland’s kids and they shouldn’t be going hungry.”
If you’d like to play your part, you can help by visiting the Launch Foods GoFundMe page and donating whatever you can to help feed children here in Scotland.