Children's Future Food Inquiry calls for new measures to tackle children's food insecurity

25 April 2019

On 25th April 2019 the Children's Future Food Inquiry ambassador Dame Emma Thompson joined young ‘Food Ambassadors’ at Westminster to deliver a new report which calls for an independent Children’s Food Watchdog to lead the charge on tackling children’s food insecurity in the UK.

One in three (4.1 million) children live in poverty in the UK, with an estimated 2.5 million living in food insecure households.

The Children’s Future Food Inquiry is the first attempt to directly and systematically seek the views of children and young people living in poverty across the UK. It has spent 12 months investigating children’s food insecurity in each of the four UK nations, and the project’s final report pulls together direct input from hundreds of young people, the frontline staff, academics and experts.

The #Right2Food Charter included in the report presents the Inquiry’s young ‘Food Ambassadors’ (aged between 10 and 18 years) own recommendations for loosening the grip of food poverty on children in the UK and improving their access to enough nutritious food. Their key proposal is for a new Children’s Food Watchdog, which will stand as an independent body with children and young people involved in its leadership.

Other recommendations include renaming free school meals as the “school meal allowance” and increasing their value, tackling marketing of junk food, expanding the Healthy Start voucher scheme and widening summer holiday provision. 

Sustainable Food City members have been taking action to tackle food insecurity and systematically address issues with access to health and nutritious food. 

Food Cardiff worked with local partners to pilot the Summer Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) in 2015. The programme provides good quality meals, nutrition skills, sports education and enrichment activities to children living in areas of need. Because of the success in Cardiff, the Welsh Local Government Association have funded a national roll-out across Wales.

Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) has piloted The Soup Bag project in primary schools throughout the town. Pupils partake in an interactive cooking session, after which they take home a ‘soup bag’ containing a recipe, a Veg Power pack and all the ingredients needed to make the soup at home.

Lockleaze Food Alliance in Bristol worked with local organisations and agencies to develop a user-friendly guide on where people can get help if they are at risk of food poverty. This includes help in a crisis, support around debt and maximising income, and support to improve their situation through skills development or increasing employability. 

Contacts

Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
lballin@soilassociation.org

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association
www.soilassociation.org


Food Matters
www.foodmatters.org


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk 

 
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