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LACA reports jump in membership numbers in wake of pandemic

19 Jul 2021
LACA, the School Food People, has seen its membership increase by 98 as school food sector seeks to recover from Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the increase, Chair of LACA Stephen Forster said: “I am delighted that despite the hardship faced by the school food industry this year, we have seen an increase in our membership.

“This is a testament to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that our members are supported and provided with guidance to navigate the changing school meal landscape.”

He said the organisation had had to innovate since March 2020 in order to ensure members’ voices continued to be heard within Government, and to guarantee members were receiving timely and useful advice and guidance to navigate the effects of the pandemic including the widespread closure of schools.

“LACA are proud of what they have achieved over the last 16 months.”

The organisation has:
•    Worked with the Department for Education and Public Health England on developing guidance for the provision of food parcels.
•    Engaged with MPs and policymakers, making the case for the school meal service and the importance of the continued provision of hot, healthy and nutritious meals to the most disadvantaged children through lockdowns.
•    Hosted monthly webinars that have provided expert advice and guidance to members on how to navigate the impact of the pandemic, including an address from Children’s Minister Vicky Ford MP praising the sector for its hard work. 
•    Progressed LACA’s Allergens Strategy by publishing the Allergens Guidance and Risk Analysis Process Risk Assessment Tool and providing guidance on Natasha’s law.

“LACA will continue to promote their members’ interests as the country seeks to recover from the pandemic. LACA’s Main Event, which will take place in Birmingham on October 12-14, will provide an excellent opportunity for members and suppliers to come together for the first time since the pandemic began to discuss new products,  source new ideas and hear from a range of keynote speakers.

“The programme will also include thought-provoking and inspirational seminars delivered by industry leading experts.”