Soil Association awarded £5 million National Lottery funding to use “good food” to change lives

24 April 2019

Food for Life, a Soil Association programme, has secured £5.1million from The National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a new nationwide programme. The ‘Food for Life Get Togethers’ project will use the power of good food to connect people of all ages through growing, cooking and eating together.

Today Food for Life Get Togethers revealed its visual identity, with a new logo, and announced it is to joins forces with six partners across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and work in some of the UK’s most disadvantaged and ethnically diverse areas – to tackle both unhealthy eating and loneliness in communities.

James Cashmore, Director of Food for Life, said; “Good food has the power to change lives. Currently, UK families eat the most unhealthy “ultra-processed” food in Europe1 and a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese2. Meanwhile, more than nine million people often or always feel lonely3, and young and older people lack opportunities to bond.

“Food for Life Get Togethers builds on the existing work that Food for Life and the national partners have been carrying out to increase wellbeing in communities through the power of food. Thanks to National Lottery Players this project will change the way different generations connect through cooking healthy food and learning new skills, growing food and coming together.”

Sadly, around 200,0004 older people go over a month without chatting to a friend or family member and almost half of older5 people in care homes consider their depression ‘a normal part of ageing’. With Food for Life Get Togethers, social hubs will be put back at the centre of the community. Friendships will have a space to thrive through healthier meals and improved wellbeing. In partnership with Big Lunch, the Royal Voluntary Service, Incredible Edible Networks, Generations Working Together, Linking Generations Northern Ireland and Food Sense Wales, the project will stir up change through community-led cooking and growing projects.

Rooted in partnerships with groups of schools, early years providers and organisations supporting older people, Food for Life Get Togethers will give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to come together.

During the four-year programme, there will be three main annual events organised by Food for Life. We know that having the chance to get together, share a fresh, healthy meal and have a chat can change people’s day to day lives. Events will inspire healthy relationships between people, their food and one another. Communities will be able to grow, cook and eat together again.

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Food for Life Get Togethers to unlock the power of good food to help tackle loneliness and unhealthy eating. Thanks to National Lottery players more people across the UK will be able to come together to improve their nutrition, build stronger relationships and help their community thrive.”

Find out more


Leon Ballin
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Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

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