A third of London councils unable to present coherent response to rising food poverty

13 October 2017

New reports show mixed progress of London’s councils in improving local food and tackling food poverty. But despite budget cuts, many councils were applauded for their commitment to tackling poverty, with more paying the London Living Wage and improving food and care for children.

Now in its seventh year of publication, the Good Food for London report found 18 boroughs have improved across 11 indicators of healthy and sustainable food over the last year. Leading the league table is the Royal Borough of Greenwich, closely followed by the London Boroughs of Islington and Tower Hamlets. Brent and Southwark are recognised for having improved the most since 2016. Out of the top 10 Boroughs, 6 had established a cross-sector local food partnership and were members of the Sustainable Food Cities Network.

In the third edition of the sister report, Beyond the Food Bank, which assesses how boroughs are tackling the complex issues behind food poverty, Islington reached the top of the table, followed by Lambeth and Greenwich. The London Boroughs of Merton and Southwark are also recognised for significant improvement since 2016. But worryingly a third of London boroughs were unable to provide information on how they are tackling food poverty, at a time when 37% of London children are living in poverty.

The surveys found a reduction in the number of councils providing a Meals on Wheels service with only 9 out of 33 councils reporting providing hot meals. Fewer councils are taking part in the Healthier Catering Commitment, a worrying sign given the continued obesity crisis and it’s relation to the prevalence of food high in added sugar, fat and salt on our high streets. In addition, fewer boroughs have maintained their Fairtrade status over the last year.

A new website has also been launched which, for the first time, includes interactive maps and league tables for users to explore data from the reports. Data will be searchable by borough, measure and year so that residents can understand their borough’s progress, and can see the evolution of performance against each measure over time.

Read more

Download the Good Food for London 2017 report

Download the Beyond the Food Bank 2017 report


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
07 917 230 121

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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