SPAR celebrates National Vegetarian Week with visits to Preston schools

Children at two Preston primary schools learned about fresh food and the importance of a balanced diet during SPAR’s National Vegetarian Week celebrations.

Wilf Whittle, fresh food trading manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR UK’s North of England wholesaler and distributor, has been out and about this week and visited Sherwood Primary School and Eldon Primary School on his travels.

At Sherwood, Wilf shared fun facts and figures with 60 Year 3 children on a range of fresh produce and answered a broad range of questions during a Q&A session.

The visit is supporting children’s learning at Sherwood as the pupils will be looking at the topic of healthy eating in greater detail as part of the school curriculum after the upcoming half term break.

On the visit to Eldon, Wilf provided an educational, interactive talk to a full school assembly of 250 children before again taking a wide range of fresh food related questions.

Staff and children at Eldon matched up the National Vegetarian Week celebrations with Walk to School Week, promoting the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise.

While on the visits to both schools, Wilf handed out a range of high-quality fresh fruit including apples, satsumas, and pears, and he also highlighted several healthier and better value lunchbox alternatives to children.

Donations of SPAR vouchers were also made to the pupils to encourage spending on fresh products in-store.

SPAR has 35 stores in Preston postcode areas to support communities in the city and its surrounding towns and villages, and the visits by Wilf have been in line with two of SPAR’s key brand pillars – Nurturing Our Neighbourhoods and Passionate About Local.

Wilf Whittle said: “Fresh food is my absolute passion, and I was delighted to visit the children at Sherwood Primary School and Eldon Primary School to interact with them during one of my favourite weeks of the year – National Vegetarian Week.

“The enthusiasm the children had for fresh food was great to see, and they had very good knowledge of fresh foods generally which was exceptionally pleasing. I was asked some really interesting and diverse questions, and the children gave some excellent answers when I quizzed them.

“After two years where we have not been able to get out into the communities we serve across the North of England, it was fantastic to be welcomed so warmly into the schools.”

Rajan Kurrie, 8, is in Year 3 at Sherwood Primary School. He said: “I learned a lot in Wilf’s talk including where different fruits come from at different times of year, and what are the most popular fruits in this country.

“I do eat meat and fish but I love fruit too. Grapes are my favourite as they are soft, sweet and juicy, but I also enjoy apples and bananas and I really like watermelon.”

Ella Wardman, also 8 and in Year 3 at Sherwood Primary School, added: “My favourite fruits are mango and strawberries. I really like tomatoes and I also eat corn.

“I’m not vegetarian but some of my friends are. I know that they eat meat alternatives and I know that we all need a balanced diet.”

Freddie Manser, 7, who is in Year 2 at Eldon Primary School, said: “Before Wilf’s talk I did not know that the original colour of carrots was purple.

“I like a lot of healthy foods. My favourite fruits are apples and oranges, and my favourite vegetables are peas and sweetcorn.”

Maliha Hussain, 9, is in Year 4 at Eldon Primary School. She said: “I am a vegetarian, so it is nice to be part of the celebrations for National Vegetarian Week.

“I really like apples and bananas for healthy snacks, and I think my favourite vegetarian recipe is my mum’s yellow curry with rice which tastes amazing!”

You can find out more about James Hall & Co. Ltd at