Moscow, Russia – October 14 – In the run-up to World Food Day, Cherkizovo Group and Smenka, a social initiative and YouTube show, announce the start of a competition to renovate school canteens. The project’s goals include promoting healthy eating among schoolchildren with the support of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor).
The competition will kick off on October 16, the UN-established World Food Day, and be open to schools located in the Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Moscow, Tula, Lipetsk, Voronezh, Penza, Orel, Kursk, Tambov, Bryansk, Belgorod and Ulyanovsk regions, Altai Territory, Moscow and St. Petersburg – regions where Cherkizovo Group operates. Applications will be accepted until November 13, with the three winning schools to be announced on November 25.
The campaign’s partner is Smenka (Russian for “school shoes” and a derivative of the Russian word for “change”). It is a social initiative run by Geek Teachers, a company that promotes educational events in Russia and seeks to create a next-gen teacher community. Smenka aims to change children’s attitude towards school and learning by refurbishing educational premises. In 2021, it undertook to renovate classrooms in several urban and rural localities across Russia.
This is the first time Smenka will be focusing on school canteens. With financial support from Cherkizovo Group, the winning schools will receive a full makeover at their dining facilities, including new tables, chairs and tableware, cafeterias, decorated walls, branded uniforms, original menus, and “eat well” information boards.
“It is about improving not only school canteens’ design, but also eating habits among the children. Since 2020, Cherkizovo has been a partner to Rospotrebnadzor’s Healthy Eating campaign, which will lend us a helping hand. This project has an extensive collection of materials, including those for children: games and tests that explain in a simple way why this or that product is healthy. By leveraging modern technology, we will make this information part of the renovated canteens’ design,” says Anastasia Mikhailova, Head of Communications at Cherkizovo Group.
“It is important to promote healthy eating among kids. They need to understand what they eat, how different foods affect their body, why their diet should be varied and balanced, and how to make it so. Children tend to develop certain food habits and stereotypes, and some of them are not healthy, so we really need to educate them. This is one of the goals of Rospotrebnadzor’s Healthy Eating initiative, part of the Demography national project. I hope our joint campaign with Cherkizovo Group will help schoolchildren memorize the basic rules of healthy eating more quickly and follow them in their daily lives,” says Yekaterina Golovkova, a Rospotrebnadzor spokesperson, Deputy Head of the Center for Hygienic Education of the Population, and information supervisor of Healthy Eating.
“For us, it is not just doing repairs for the sake of repairs, but putting together the entire school and local residents around this process. We look to engage the kids in thinking over the design and choosing colors for the place where they will have their lunch and chat with friends. In addition, it is important to create an impetus for change, demonstrating that renovation is not as scary as many people may think. Other schools can follow suit, so we film the entire process and put it up on YouTube as part of our Smenka show,” notes Arina Nuriakhmetova, a co-founder and presenter of Smenka.
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