Soil Association awarded £5 million National Lottery funding to use “good food” to change lives
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.”
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Notes to editors
- UK families consume the most (51%) ‘ultra-processed’ diet in Europe and diet related ill health costs the NHS billions each year. 51% of UK family food purchases are ultra-processed (food significantly changed from its original state and salt, sugar, fat, additives, preservatives. E.g. crisps, chocolate, packet soup etc) compared to 14.2% in France and 13.4% in Italy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28714422
- “With the UK displaying the highest levels of obesity in western Europe and one in three children overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, it’s hard to find families unaffected by this health issue which urgently needs addressing.” Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Chair of the BMA's Board of Science - https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/policy-and-research/public-and-population-health/diet-and-obesity
- Over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely - https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/loneliness-research/
The Soil Association was founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists, doctors and nutritionists to promote the connection between the health of the soil, food, animals, people and the environment. Today the Soil Association is the UK's leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. Its Chief Executive is Helen Browning, and Chair of Trustees is Gabriel Scally.
Food for Life is a Soil Association initiative which began in 2003 and developed into an award-winning national programme to transform school food culture. Today, Food for Life continues to develop approaches to transforming the food environment and food culture to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, whoever and wherever they are. Through work with early years settings, schools, universities, hospitals, workplaces and care settings, the initiative aims to support the provision of nutritious, well-sourced meals as well as practical knowledge and skills. Food for Life is a leading voice in the campaign for positive change in all areas of food and health.
To find out more visit www.foodforlife.org.uk / @safoodforlife
About The National Lottery Community Fund We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.