A schoolteacher is offering food for thought with a new series of videos about eating cheaply but healthily during the pandemic.

Originally published in The Sunderland Echo. By Gareth Ledwith.

Jo Tissington, a food technology teacher at Sunderland’s Academy 360, has produced the YouTube broadcasts in response to the Government’s new £15 voucher scheme to replace free school meals during the coronavirus lockdown.

Among the foods to be featured include stuffed peppers, Tex Mex eggs, Calzone pizzas, lamb koftas and turkey burgers.

The episodes, which are part of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Bite Back 2030 campaign, attempt to make eating healthily for £15 a week with the National Voucher Scheme both fun and easy.

Academy 360 teacher Jo Tissington is producing a series of YouTube videos with tips on how to eat cheaply but healthily.
Academy 360 teacher Jo Tissington is producing a series of YouTube videos with tips on how to eat cheaply but healthily.

They have been supported by the Laidlaw Foundation, the sponsor of the Laidlaw Schools Trust, which includes Academy 360.

Foundation chief executive Susanna Kempe explained: “As a result of the pandemic, the Government introduced a £15 voucher scheme to replace free school meals.

“But £15 for the whole week really does not go far. We wanted to be sure that children and families could enjoy healthy and tasty meals together by providing shopping lists, menus and inspiring cook-alongs.”

Ms Tissington has taken over from Jack Scalfani, a chef in the Jamie Oliver Cookery School, with his Cook With Jack series now renamed Cook With Jo.

She said: “Jack has made a brilliant start with the programmes which have been received really well and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to carry on and maintain the momentum created by his enthusiasm for cooking.”

Academy 360 principal Rachel Donohue added: “We are thrilled that the team at Academy 360, has been given the chance to take over presenting the programme.

“Cook with Jo, as it will now be called, is going to be a tremendous opportunity for the academy to show its support for the community.

“The Laidlaw Foundation is passionate about supporting all children to ensure they get the best possible start in life.

“A healthy diet and knowing how to make the right food choices are absolutely critical so that students can create a firm foundation for their future health and are able to pass on this knowledge to others.”

The videos are available via the Laidlaw Schools Trust YouTube channel.