How to hold a Big Lunch in your school

We know that schools are busy places, run by busy people, but The Big Lunch doesn’t have to be super big or complicated. Below are some tips to make The Big Lunch as easy as possible for you.


The Big Lunch is about the simple act of coming together over food. You could ask people to bring some food to share, either homemade or shop bought, perhaps a favourite dish, a family speciality or something perfect for a picnic.

If your school provides lunch for your students, focus on how you can make it more communal; why not cook together, serve food in large sharing bowls rather than queueing, or work as a school to grow something for your Big Lunch - salad leaves grow quickly and may even grow back after you have picked some. You could also tie The Big Lunch into your teaching on healthy eating, where food comes from, or how to prepare and cook food.


The Big Lunch can provide an opportunity to fundraise for your school, generate finances for your latest project, a chosen charity, or essentials for your school or class. Why not ask local organisations or businesses for contributions to your Big Lunch? Below are a few organisations that may be able to help with financing your Big Lunch or project.

  • Tesco Bags of Help scheme – awards grants for projects that help the community, including hosting community events
  • The Big Lottery Fund  our main funder here at Eden Project Communities, funds organisations with ideas that bring more people together and build strong relationships in and across communities

Safety of young people

The safety of young people is extremely important. Use your own school procedures to ensure you think about the related risks, including food safety and safeguarding.

Big Lunch planning

Form a Big Lunch planning group and work with your schoolchildren to make the day a big success. Have your class list what they think makes a good party and everything they would need to organise one. You could encourage them to ask people of all ages about their favourite parties, what they did, what they ate and why it was so much fun.

In your school community

To include your wider community in The Big Lunch, why not invite people to join you on the day? Ask your group who they would like to get to know better in their community and why. Suggest neighbours, local business people, other schools in your federation, or members of a local community group. Perhaps they know some amazing performers living locally, or community groups who could help them out with food, or neighbours with brilliant stories to share?

There are ways to integrate The Big Lunch into your lessons here as well as activities and ideas for the day. 

Don't forget to sign up to get your FREE Big Lunch pack to get started, and it includes free handy resources such as invites and posters.