TOP CHEF Gary Maclean has made a stellar effort in kicking off the STV Children's Appeal by serving food to school children out of a converted food truck.

Maclean visited Haghill Primary School alongside Launch Foods yesterday to present a cheque and give pupils the chance to have a star-studded scran for lunch.

Launch Foods take surplus food from supermarkets and shops and through their converted food trucks, use it to provide wholesome, healthy meals for children from deprived areas in Glasgow during school term time and summer holidays to ensure no pupil goes home hungry.

The STV Children's Appeal, which funds projects that support children and young people affected by poverty all over Scotland, has selected Launch Foods to be one of their recipients.

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Launch Foods have received £2,000 from the Children’s Appeal to support their work in Glasgow, including outfitting a new coffee shop on Bothwell Street where the children from schools they feed are able to attend and learn skills such as barista training, hospitality and cooking.

Scotland's National Chef Gary Maclean presented Craig Johnson, founder of Launch foods with the cheque at the Launch Food kitchen in Glasgow's Skypark, before hitting the road to Haghill Primary.

Launch Foods began when Johnson, a former city restaurateur, embarked on a mission to feed Glasgow's children after hearing frustrating reports about the amount of food waste in the city versus the amount of children going hungry.

In 2019, Launch Foods provided more than 70,000 free meals to eight schools across the city. Every child in the school is offered the service when the bell goes. 

Craig Johnson, Founder of Launch Foods said:

“No child should go home hungry at the end of the school day.  At the moment, we visit eight schools in Glasgow and provide every child that visits the truck with a hot healthy meal – but we want to do more. 

"I want to double the amount of free meals we offer in 2020 but to do this we need an extra vehicle, more volunteers, food and staff.  There are so many kind decent people out there who genuinely care and want to help and I’m so grateful – but we always need more.

“We’re launching the coffee shop in the next couple of months and every cup of coffee sold will allow us to provide a child with a hot meal.  I also want the kids to come into the shop and learn some new skills.  We’re grateful for the support of the STV Children’s Appeal and hope that in 2020 we can grow and provide even more hot meals for any child that wants one.”

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Gary Maclean, Chef, said:

“The first thing that struck me was the energy from the people involved - everyone is absolutely buzzing and motoring to get this van filled with some lovely food for the kids. It’s amazing that people are out there doing this sort of work.

"I think these days everyone thinks all kids are getting fed and going to bed with a full tummy and the reality is not all of them are, and that’s what charities like this and the STV Children’s Appeal are all about. It’s just amazing that the guys at Launch Foods are doing what they do and have some impact on that.”

Glasgow Times:


Thanks to the generosity and fundraising efforts of people across the country, the STV Children’s Appeal raised £2.6million in 2019 that will help improve the life chances of Scotland’s vulnerable children and young people. 

In nine years since launch the STV Children’s Appeal has raised over £21 million funding 1344 big and small awards for projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, and providing much needed support to over 95,000 children and young people.

The money raised is distributed to provide practical help like food and warm clothes, create opportunities for training and employability, and enable social and emotional support for those who need it most.