Food for Life Partnership wins BBC award
23 November 2011
Today the Soil Association led Food for Life Partnership was awarded the prestigious BBC Radio 4 Derek Cooper Award. The award recognises 'unsung heroes, whose work has increased our access to, and knowledge and appreciation of, good food'. For five years the Soil Association and its three partners in the project – Health Education Trust, Garden Organic and Focus on Food Campaign – have been working with schools and communities across England to transform their food cultures, and the award is fitting recognition for the impact the scheme has had. The Partnership uses food as a way to improve the whole school experience – making lunchtimes a positive feature of the day and enriching classroom learning with farm visits and practical cooking and growing.
'We know that children are eating more fruit and veg as a result of their participation,' says Emma Noble, the co-director of the Partnership. 'We know that the programme helps "close the gap" in health and academic attainment between disadvantaged children and their peers; that schools show a significant increase in free school meal uptake which is crucial in encouraging healthy eating habits; and twice as many primary schools receive an Outstanding Ofsted rating after working with the Food for Life Partnership.'
Sheila Dillon, presenter of The Food Programme and host of the awards ceremony in Birmingham, has described the Food for Life Partnership as 'the most important food project in Europe'. Speaking in the Summer she described the impact of the Partnership's work: 'For years, for decades, we've been looking for this golden way of changing attitudes to food. The Food for Life Partnership has changed things, it's remarkable. It seems to me that if we lost what the Food for Life Partnership has achieved it would not only be a disaster for the schools and the children, it would be a disaster for the entire British society.'
Congratulations to everyone involved in the Partnership.