Stories from the front line of food poverty by the Food Foundation ambassadors.

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Pod Bites: Generation Formula

This week, we hear more about how families face a range of barriers to feeding their infants, whether they breastfeed or formula feed. Following the investigation into infant formula prices carried out by the The Competition and Markets Authority, Vicky Sibson, Director at First Steps Nutrition, tells us how it can influence feeding decisions. 


For more on The Food Foundation's report on formula prices and barriers to breastfeeding, click here. And for its Manifesto, click here


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The Barriers to Breastfeeding

Guest presenter, Gemma Ogston, author of The Healing Cookbook looks at the Food Foundation's second Early Years report exploring the barriers to breastfeeding.


The Food Foundation has just published this in-depth analysis revealing a flawed system in which parents face multiple barriers to provide babies with the basic nutrients needed for development before the age of two. It shows how policy failure leaves families struggling to provide babies with vital nutrients in early months of life.


Hannah Brinsden, head of policy and advocacy at the Food Foundation joins Adult Food Ambassador, TJ, Dayna Brackley from Bremner and Co, Sophie Riley, midwife at Plymouth University Hospital Trust, Vicky Sibson, director of First Steps Nutrition Trust and Alison Thewliss MP to examine why we need a national breastfeeding strategy.


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto


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Pod Bites: The Times Health Commission

Jo Ralling, head of campaigns at the Food Foundation talks us through some of the week's big reports on about child health and how we can fix the NHS.


For more information on the The Times Commission, click here


As we head towards the next general election, the Food Foundation is calling on policymakers to recognise the central importance of the food system in shaping the nation's health and wealth. Click here for the Food Foundation manifesto, and make sure you subscribe to this podcast to keep up with the latest analysis on what makes healthy food really matter.


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Pod Bites: Eat Them to Defeat Them

In this week's Pod Bites, Dan Parker, Chief Executive of Veg Power tells us about Eat Them to Defeat Them 2024, the TV advertising campaign to get kids eating more veg.


As the media campaign kicks off again on Feb 17th, the schools programme follows with 637,000 children across the UK in over 2,500 primary and special schools joining in classroom activities and tasting events to make vegetables fun.


Click here for more information on Eat Them to Defeat Them, and here for the Food Foundation Manifesto


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The Peas Please Report


This week, Poppy O'Toole, Michelin-trained chef and author and content creator, known as Poppy Cooks, looks at the release of the final progress report from the Peas Please partnership.


Peas Please is a partnership campaign led by the Food Foundation with Nourish Scotland, Food Sense Wales and Food NI to make it easier for everyone in the UK to eat more vegetables. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, it's a joined up movement of veg advocates and veg cities who have made massive wins over the past four years.


Pete Ritchie from Nourish Scotland, Katie Palmer from Food Sense Wales and Michele Shirlow from Food NI assess the key highlights, while Gareth Mcanlis of Henderson Group explains how it feels to be a local food hero.

 

But the report shows that the amount of vegetables bought by households in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. This highlights the impact the cost of living crisis is having on low-income families who are struggling to afford healthier options.


Click for the Courgette Pilot from Food Sense Wales and the Food Foundation's Manifesto

 

 


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Pod Bites: Labour's Child Action Plan

 In this week’s Pod Bites, Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation talks us through the Labour Party's seven point Child Health Action Plan which was announced last week.


Click here for the Children’s Right2Food dashboard, and here for the Food Foundation Manifesto.


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Pod Bites: The Oxford Real Farming Conference

On this week's Podbite, Leticija Petrovic, local food policy lead at Food Foundation reports back from last week's 15th annual Oxford Real Farming conference.


Leticija led a Food Foundation hosted session which explored the leadership that local authorities can have in making food and policy change, and shared the findings of its work with Birmingham City Council, Kent University and a number of schools. 


Click here for more information on The Oxford Real Farming Conference and here for the Food Foundation Manifesto.



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Pod Bites: Philip Lymbery's New Year Message

Philip Lymbery, the Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, the leading international farmed animal welfare environmental organisation gives us his New Year message. He looks at how far we have come as a food movement in terms of climate, food justice and animal welfare, and predicts that a future royal banquet will include cultivated meat from stem cells. 


Click here for more from Compassion in World Farming and here for the Food Foundation Manifesto.


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2023: The Youth View

Laiba, Dev and Jani are just some of the Young Food Ambassadors for the Food Foundation who report from the front line of food insecurity and campaign for the right to food for every child in the UK. The Sheila McKechnie (SMK) Foundation awarded the YFAs second place in the ‘Young Campaigner Award’ category for our Feed the Future campaign. It recognises how much they have achieved during the campaign, which calls on the Government to extend school meals eligibility in response to evidence that 800,000 children living in poverty in England don’t get a Free School Meal. 


The Young Food Ambassadors helped to plan our ‘Superpowers of Free School Meals’ event in Westminster for MPs, performing a spoken word piece to an audience of over 200 people. They also worked with The Food Foundation to design a social media campaign and wrote to their MPs.  This campaign contributed to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to extend Free School Meals to an additional 270,000 children for one year from September 2023 in London. While the campaign continues as so many children in poverty are still miss out on Free School Meals, we're grateful to the Sheila McKechnie Foundation for recognising the Young Food Ambassadors hard work and all they have achieved so far.


Here Laiba, Dev and Jani look back on the year, remembering the residential where they planned the Feed the Future campaign and Laiba's lunch with Holly Lynch MP.


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto.


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Pod Bites: View from the Food Club

As we approach the end of 2023, Natasha Ricketts, founder of the Evelyn Community Food Store, former Mayoress of Lewisham and friend of the Food Foundation Podcast looks back on the year.


We first met Natasha in Lockdown and found how people joining a community food store found so much more than food boxes. Now, she finds an unprecedented rise in membership and tells us how the food store has become a portal for the most needy to find help.


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Pod Bites: COP28

On this week's Pod Bites, Sarah Buszard, Responsible Investor Engagement lead for the Food Foundation is just back from COP28 in Dubai with a 10-minute briefing from a food campaigner's point of view.


She tells us how and why food was featured much more prominently on the agenda than ever before, why institutional investors are so interested in food systems transformation, and news of a global commitment to address climate-related health impacts and align climate and health in policy processes.


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto.

 


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Pod Bites: The Right to Food University

In this week's Pod Bites, Philip Pothen, Director of Engagement at the University of Kent tells us about The Right to Food University. 


Inspired by a visit to the University by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri Philip tells us how he established a Right to Food University. Bringing together Kent's research and innovation, its links with businesses, teaching, curriculum and volunteer power, its students and staff, this is about a series of initiatives exploring how to deliver a fairer, more sustainable and more affordable food system.


Click here for more information on The Food Foundation's work with The Right to Food University at Kent


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SOFI: Why the food industry is the gatekeeper to our dietary health

This week, guest presenter, Leyla Kazim of Radio 4's The Food Programme looks at the Food Foundation's 2023 State of the Nation's Food Industry Report - or SOFI - on the retailers and out of home businesses leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable diet.


With Linus Pardoe of the Good Food Institute, Ita McMahon of Castlefield Sustainable Investing, Stephanie Sargent, youth leader of Act4Food, Ryan Holmes, Culinary Director, Business and Industry at Compass Group UK & Ireland, and Chloe MacKean, Business Engagement Manager at the Food Foundation.


Click here for the Food Foundation manifesto


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Pod Bites: A Letter to Health Minister Andrea Leadsom

This week, Vera Zakharov, the local action coordinator for Sustain on why families with no recourse to public funds deserve access to Healthy Start, a vital nutritional safety net for their youngest children.


As a letter from 148 signatories lands this week on the desk of the new Minister for Primary Care and Public Health, Andrea Leadsom outlining an immediate call for a consultation on extending Healthy Start to all low income families with no recourse to public funds, Vera explains why it's essential for the health of the nation.


Click here to read the letter and here for the survey


Click here for the Food Foundation manifesto.


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Pod Bites: Chefs in Schools on extending Free School Meals

Danielle Glavin, Head of Communications at Chefs in Schools on the result of a survey which found that a third of families can no longer afford hot school lunches


Food and children’s charities are calling on the Government to urgently expand eligibility for free school meals after new research found that a third of families can no longer afford hot school lunches. The polling of parents across England, carried out by Survation for Chefs in Schools also found that 41% were providing less nutritious packed lunches for children because of rising food prices.


The research also reveals:

● 56% of parents are struggling to make ends meet

● 58% feel the current Free School Meals system, where eligibility varies

depending on location and age, is unfair

● 83% of parents wanted eligibility expanded

● 62% said they would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to

expand free school meals


Click here for more information on the survey


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto


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Broken Plate 5: Yoghurt and cereals and children's dental health

In the fifth episode of this series on the broken plate, the Food Foundation's annual report on the state of the nation's food system, Dominique Woolf, author of Dominique's Kitchen and winner of The Jamie Oliver Great Cookbook Challenge on Channel Four looks at the impact of sugary cereals and yoghurts clearly marketed at children on their dental health. 


Click here for the full Broken Plate report


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto




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Pod Bites: The affordability of healthy children's lunches

In this Pod Bite, Shona Goudie, policy and advocacy manager at the Food Foundation brings us up to speed on the Kids Guarantee Scheme and what supermarkets are doing to provide the 900,000 school children in the UK living in food insecurity with a healthy packed lunch.


Click here for the Food Foundation manifesto.


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Pod Bites: The National Conversation About Food

Sue Pritchard, chief executive at the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission on the National Conversation About Food.


Sue explains the ideas behind this project which gathers citizens to understand what people really think about food and talk about how we can fix food, fix the planet and fix our health. 


Click here for more information on FFCC's work and here for the Food Foundation's manifesto.




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Broken Plate: Fast food on the high street

In the 4th episode of this 12-part series on the Food Foundation's annual Broken Plate report on the state of the nation's food system, guest presenter, TV chef and author of Cook Clever, Shivi Ramoutar tells us about the rise in fast food outlets in the UK. 


Leticija Petrovic, City Food Policy lead at The Food Foundation tells us how Birmingham City Council, one of those deprived areas, is transforming its local food system. Justin Varney, Director of Public Health and Birmingham City Council and Vicky Hemming, Head of Food at its Active Wellbeing Society talk about joined-up thinking in creating a healthy high street. And  Fran Bernhardt, Children's Food Campaign Coordinator at Sustain reports on some of the positive initiatives taken by city councils all over the country.


Click here for the Food Foundation manifesto.


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Pod Bites: How to change behaviour

Sarah Buszard, responsible investor engagement lead for the Food Foundation on our recently released briefing that looks at how important educational and information provision interventions are as tools for improving dietary health.



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Bonus episode: China's food revolution

Chief Executive of the Food Foundation, Anna Taylor visits Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan Province in China where she was invited to share experiences from the UK on making food environments more healthy. As in the UK, diets dominated by highly processed products are driving the rise in childhood overweight and obesity in China, and Anna was keen to learn about the challenges the Chinese are facing.


In the company of Roland Kupka, UNICEF's regional nutrition advisor for East Asia Pacific, Fiona Watson, nutrition strategy consultant, China country office and Professor Kathryn Backholer co-director of the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition at Deakin University in Melbourne, they explore some of the digital initiatives that are transforming the city's food experience. They also find out what's happening in the city schools, and Nini’s Food Education Centre right in the heart of the city with its own forest food garden for children.


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Pod Bites: The Birmingham Food Revolution

Sarah Pullen, lead on the food system team within the public health department at Birmingham City Council, tells us about the Birmingham Food Revolution and the importance of this co-creative strategy for our cities food system transformation.


Find out more about the Birmingham Food strategy here


Find out more about the upcoming online events here


Click here for the Food Foundation Manifesto


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The Broken Plate: The Obesity Epidemic

This week, in the third of this 12-part series on the Food Foundation’s annual Broken Plate report on the state of the nation's food system, we're talking about the UK’s obesity epidemic. 


Guest presenter, Dr. Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, MasterChef winner, gastroenterologist and author of The Sunday Times bestseller, The Kitchen Prescription sees the impact of obesity and overweight on her patients every day in her NHS clinic. With Kat Jenner from the Obesity Health Alliance, GP, Dr Pandora Frost, Mimi, one of the Food Foundation's Young Food Ambassadors and Hannah Brinsden, head of policy and advocacy at the Food Foundation, she explores one of this year’s Broken Plate report's key metrics, how the rising prevalence of obesity in children across England and Scotland, who are  living in the most deprived fifth of the population, is posing a serious threat to that vision.




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Pod Bites: Global Food Justice Toolkit launched

This week, ahead of the launch Leiticija Petrovic, Food Policy lead at The Food Foundation tells us about a new food justice toolkit developed by Birmingham City Council.


It is designed to help cities assess their own councils' strengths and weaknesses, to identify stakeholders to engage with to progress action, and potential interventions to work towards more equitable and just food system.

 

For more information of the Birmingham Food Futures Conference last year, click here


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Pod Bites: Recipe for Change

In the latest Pod Bites episode from the Food Foundation podcast, Kate Howard, Children's Food Campaign Coordinator at Sustain introduces us to Recipe for Change. a campaign calling for an industry levy to make food healthier.


Click on the links to find out more and how to get involved, and check in at Food Foundation for the bigger picture on why we need to make healthy food accessible to all children in the UK


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Pod Bites: Free School Meals roll-out across London

Zoe McIntyre, advocacy manager and children's food at the Food Foundation explains why it's such an exciting week across London as the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, rolls out Free School Meals to all primary school children in the capitol.


Regardless of background, 287,000 additional children will be benefiting from a free school meal for a whole year as part of the Mayor's intervention in the cost of living crisis. Zoe explains why the Food Foundation hopes it's just a start in the fight for all children in the UK to have access to healthy food




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Bonus Episode: Jimi Famurewa and our award-winning youth activist

As the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan rolls out Free School Meals for every primary school child across the capital next week, journalist, brodcaster, author and food critic, Jimi Famurewa catches up with Saff, one of the Food Foundation’s Young Food Ambassadors.


She has been campaigning about the importance of Free School Meals, and here Jimi and Bite Back's Luke Hall celebrate Saff's win as Youth Activist of the Year at the Good School Food Awards at Jamie Oliver HQ.


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Pod Bites: 900,000 missing out on Free School Meals

This week, Kate Anstey, Head of Education Policy at Child Poverty Action Group tells us about the limitations and the current free school meals policy. CPAG's most recent figures find that 900,000 children in England don't currently qualify for a free school meal, and Kate explains why that matters.


Click here for more information on CPAG's Imagine campaign



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Pod Bites: Reversing health inequalities

Sarah Lawson, engagement and programme manager at Health Equals at the Health Foundation on its campaign for better health opportunities in the UK.


Health Equals was born out of the need to rebuild foundations to improve life expectancy and reverse health inequalities in the UK. Here Sarah talks about the work it does with The Food Foundation and why it matters.


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Pod Bites: The EFRA report on Food Security

Hannah Brinsden head of policy and advocacy at The Food Foundation digs into the recent report from EFRA, the Government's committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Focussing on food security, it comes at a critical time when food inflation is at 17% and food prices have increased by up to 25% in the last year, according to Food Foundation figures. 


To read more on the report, click here


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The Broken Plate: The marketing of toddler snacks

In the second of this 12 part series on the state of the nation's food system, we're talking about the marketing of baby and toddler snacks.


Dominique Woolf, author of Dominique's Kitchen and winner of the Jamie Oliver Great Cookbook Challenge on Channel Four unpack one of the key findings of the Food Foundation's flagship Broken Plate report.


With expert analysis from Dr Kawther Hashem from Action on Sugar, Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Zoe McIntyre of the Food Foundation, MP, Alison Thewliss and first time mums, Sara and TJ.


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Pod Bites: Food and Fun

After last week’s announcement by the Welsh government to end free school holiday meal vouchers, Katie Palmer from Food Sense Wales tells us about Food for Fun, an initiative which is being rolled out out across the whole of Wales as part of a £4.85 million annual programme.


Click here for more information.


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Pod Bites: Food Insecurity Update

Shona Goudie, Senior Policy and Advocacy officer at the Food Foundation explains the latest findings of a new survey on food insecurity, and this week's new data on food inflation.  


An online survey of 10,814 adults in the United Kingdom commissioned by The Food Foundation and conducted between 31st January to 3rd February 2023 by YouGov Plc (12th in series) found that 17% of households experienced food insecurity in June this year, which affects an estimated nine million adults and four million children.


Shona unpacks the complex reasons for this from the war in Ukraine to Brexit in a fascinating exploration of the impact of the current food system on health and mental well-being among the most vulnerable people in Britain.


Click here to read the full report.


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The Broken Plate Report 2023

In the first of this 12-part monthly series of The Broken Plate, we examine the findings of the Food Foundation's annual report on the state of the nation's food system.


Guest presenter, Dr Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed, MasterChef winner, gastroenterologist and author of The Sunday Times bestseller, The Kitchen Prescription, explores the importance of the food system in shaping the nation's health and wealth with Food Foundation trustee, Laura Sandys, MPs Peter Aldous and Daniel Zeichner, Breadline Voices Dan White and Dominic Watters, Dr Kawther Hashem from Action in Sugar and the report's authors, Shona Goudie.


To get involved with the Food Foundation, click here


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Quick Bites: The Veg Advocates

In this week's Quick Bites, Tilda Ferree, Project Officer at the Food Foundation takes us behind the scenes of the Involving Citizens in Food Activism report.


The veg advocate programme was launched in March 2020 as part of the Peas Please programme, its mission: to make it easier for everybody in the UK to eat more veg. Working with agents for change, this is another partnership initiative in which lived experience is the key to understanding how to change the food system for the sake of our health, the health of the planet and the economy.


Click here for Peas Please and here for more information on veg advocates.


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Quick Bites: The voice of the young food ambassador

The Food Foundation launches its Broken Plate report this week, its annual State of the Nation assessment on the British food system. And once again, it reveals that our children are still not getting enough access to healthy, nutritious food. 


In this week's Quick Bites, Young Food Ambassador, Saffron Steddall explains why when she was just 14 and living in food poverty herself, she joined the Food Foundation to champion the rights of every child in the UK to eat a healthy meal every day.


Click here to find more about the Right2Food campaign. And if you'd like to get involved with the Food Foundation's ambassador programme, click here



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Quick Bites: Analysing supermarket multi-buy offers on junk food

Hannah Brinsden, head of policy and advocacy at the Food Foundation explains why the Government is wrong to withdraw its promise to introduce restrictions on supermarket multibuy offers until 2025 because of the cost of living crisis. She says that it is precisely because times are tough that we must improve access to healthy foods NOW.


For more information please click here to read our publications, press releases and blogs.


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Quick Bites: Why are so many families missing out on Healthy Start?

Labour MP for South Shields, Emma Lewes-Buck tells us why she introduced a Bill for a Healthy Start scheme this week to encourage auto-enrolment to the Government initiative.


The NHS Healthy Start scheme is considered a lifeline for pregnant women and families with young children, providing vital access to fruit and vegetables, milk and vitamins. But more than 200,000 babies and young children in England are missing out on this nutritional safety net, with uptake rates are as low as 50% in some areas. Food poverty levels have almost doubled since last year and rising food inflation has particularly impacted products such as milk, vegetables, and baby formula.


It is vital the Government acts now to ensure every child has access to healthy, nutritious meals. That's why the Food Foundation joined has joined a cross-party group of MPs and health campaigners from 27 organisations in writing to Health Secretary Steve Barclay urging him to automatically enrol all families to Healthy Start.


For more information and to read Emma's letter to the Secretary of State, click here


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Quick Bites: Kids Food Guarantee Dashboard launch

 

In this episode of Quick Bites, the Food Foundation's series of thoughts and snap analyses of news events, Rebecca Tobi, senior business and investor Engagement Manager at the Food Foundation shares the launch of this week's Kids Food Guarantee dashboard, our set of asks and actions that we'd like to see retailers, and manufacturers taking to support families through the cost of living crisis. 


Click here for the Kids Food Guarantee, and here for Food Foundation's Quick Bites webinars on our YouTube channel.


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Volunteers’ Week 2023: Tales from the frontline of food insecurity.

It's volunteer week at the Food Foundation, and chef, food writer and Bake Off winner, Chetna Makan introduces us to some of the voices from the frontline of food insecurity.


The Food Foundation looks for solutions to the growing challenges facing the UK's food system, and presents them to government and private sector. But perhaps its most important contribution is its team of ambassadors, young people and adults with lived experience of many of the issues it campaigns about.  


We meet the core bloggers on Breadline Voices, Dan White, Dominic Watters and Kathleen Kerridge and learn how the ambassador programme at the Food Foundation has helped them to develop their presenting skills and speak directly to the people who can change policy at the very top of the food chain.






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Quick Bites: the campaign for affordable infant formula

 

In this episode of Quick Bites, the Food Foundation's series of thoughts and snap analyses of news events, Vicky Sibson, director of First Steps Nutrition Trust tells us about the campaign for regulation on the cost of infant formula.


First Steps is working with the Food Foundation to improve access to better food and nutrition from preconception to age five. Vicky explains why in the UK's formula feeding culture we need safe and appropriate access to formula, and to make sure that it is available to the most vulnerable in our society.



Click here for the Kids Food Guarantee, and here for Food Foundation's Quick Bites webinars on our YouTube channel.


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Quick Bites: The first ever Children's Food Summit

Elena Vacca, Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Food Foundation takes us to the first ever Children's Food Summit in Leeds on 16 May 2023. This in-person event from Sustain's Children's Food Campaign coalition brought together leading voices from the world of children’s food and the opportunity to shape future plans with other change-makers. 


Click here for more information on the work the Food Foundation does on children's right to food.




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How to Change Policy

This week, guest presenter, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall looks at how to make a case for policy change through the compelling stories of lived experience of poverty.

 

Charities like the Food Foundation try to find solutions to the growing challenges facing the UK food system and present them to government and the private sector. But the work has to have impact. Marcus Rashford, Dame Emma Thompson and the young food ambassadors from the Food Foundation tell it how it is, while Dolly Theis of Dolitics argues that a policy merry go round makes any real and lasting change unlikely to be implemented.


If you have lived experience of food insecurity and want to get involved in advocacy, do get in touch with the Food Foundation. Just click here to contact the Food Foundation team.


Click here for more information on Tackling the Cost of Food Crisis presentation at Parliament and here for more on Sustain's Healthy Start campaign.


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Quick Bites: Campaigning with Impact

Sofia Parente, head of Local Action at Sustain, looks at how campaigns can affect Government policy.


She tells us about  an open letter to Government from a coalition of charities and NGOs, including The Food Foundation,about Healthy Start which led to an update in Government policy.

 

Click for more information on Veg Cities and The Food Foundation’s campaign for better access to Healthy Start. 


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Quick Bites: They Know We're Here, But They Don't See Us

Shona Goudie, policy and advocacy officer at The Food Foundation tells us about an event at The Churchill Room in The House of Commons this week which brings new stories from the front line of food poverty.


Co-hosted by Which? and chaired by Radio 4 Food Programme presenter Sheila Dillon, the audience heard new findings on the availability of budget range options to support a healthy diet across different stores and how supermarkets can help. The Food Foundation talked about its new Kids Food Guarantee with some of its Food Ambassadors telling MPs how the cost of living crisis is impacting people’s lives

 

Here, Shona tells us about the launch of 'They Know We're Here, But They Don't See Us', a new short film by The Food Foundation at the event which explores parents’ experiences of feeding their families during the cost of living crisis. She talks about its impact on an audience of NGOs, supermarkets and MPs, and the Food Foundation's suggestions of how to change the food story in Britain.




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Quick Bites: Growing Our Five a Day

Alice English, project manager at The Food Foundation is just back from the Houses of Parliament where she and the team have been asking growers, NGOs and MPs how we can boost fruit and vegetable production and consumption in the UK.


As the Government develops its new Horticulture Strategy for England, The Food Foundation and SHEFs global research consortium have been analysing what mix of policies might support greater consumption and production of fruit and vegetables. Alice reflects on how the event went, what she took away and where we go from here.


Click here for the link to the Food Foundation briefings Alice mentions, and here for episode 10 of The Food Foundation podcast on why we urgently need a horticultural strategy.


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Quick Bites: Fix Our Food
Dr Annie Connolly, Research and Engagement Lead at the Food Foundation, introduces us to Fix our Food, a project aiming to transform the food system in Yorkshire. As part of its work, a ground-breaking research and transformational programme, being led by the Food Foundation's Young Food Ambassadors, is currently investigating access to healthy and sustainable options for children who receive Free School Meals.

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Happy Birthday Sugar Tax

This week, we're celebrating five years of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, better known as the Sugar Tax.


Introduced on April 6th 2018, the tax on the production and import of soft drinks that contain added sugar has been a win:win for industry and consumers, and the result of years of campaigning from stakeholders across the sector and support from MPs from the political spectrum.


Dr Rupy Aujla, author and host of the Doctor's Kitchen books and podcast, and his latest book, Dr. Rupy Cooks is our guest presenter. He joins Isabel Hughes from The Food Foundation , Peter Harding, Chief Executive Officer for Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, Katherine Jenner of the Obesity Health Alliance and Dr Paul McArdle and Jamie Oliver to explore why it was such a turning point in the campaign for access to a healthy diet for everyone in the UK. 


For more information on the Sugar Tax, click here


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Quick Bites: Say YES to School Food for All

Barbara Crowther from Sustain, the Alliance for Food and Farming considers how we can create a world where all children can have a healthy school meal without barriers or stigma.


Sustain's network of over 100 Food farming, health education, and schools groups is working to create a better food environment for children to grow up in, to learn, to eat healthily and be healthy. Barbara introduces its campaign Say YES to School Food For All which, with a group of children, imagines what school could be like if we treated other parts of the school day like we treat school food.


Quick here for The Food Foundation's Quick Bites webinar series


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Quick Bites: Tracking food insecurity in the UK

In the second of the Food Foundation Podcast’s Quick Bites, its series of thoughts and snap analyses on key news events, we’re visiting FF HQ to meet more of the team.


Shona Goudie is the Senior Policy and Advocacy officer at the Food Foundation which has been tracking levels of food insecurity in the UK since the start of the pandemic. With today's update on the Food Insecurity Tracker, Shona paints a picture of how it's affecting Britain.


Click here for the Food Foundation's series of Quick Bites webinars on YouTube.



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Quick Bites: The Budget

In the first of the Food Foundation Podcast’s Quick Bites, its series of thoughts and snap analyses on key news events, we’re talking about the Budget.



Zoe McIntyre is the project manager for Children's Right2Food, the Food Foundation’s nationwide initiative to ensure every child in the UK can access and afford good food. She tells us why it matters that 800,000 children living in poverty, who continue to miss out on free school meals have not been given any airtime in today's budget.



Click here for more information on the Food Foundation and here for its series of webinars on YouTube.


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Why do we urgently need a horticulture strategy?

This week, guest presenter, food writer, chef, founder of Wahaca restaurants, and trustee of Chefs in Schools, Thomasina Miers asks what opportunities the current fruit and veg shortages could offer to build resilience into our broken food system in the UK.


The Food Foundation has recently published a series of briefings in collaboration with a team of researchers from the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) consortium. They explore the opportunities of growing and eating more fruit and veg in the UK and its impact on our health, the environment and our food security.


We hear from Ali Capper, chair of British Apples and Pears, Guy Singh-Watson of Riverford Organics. Martin Emmett, chair of the National Farmer's Union's Horticultural and Potatoes Board, James Woodward from Sustain and Anna Taylor, the Food Foundation's executive director.


For more information on the work The Food Foundation does with SHEFS, click here


For The Food Foundation's snap analysis Quick Bites series on YouTube, click here


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Can investors help fix our broken food system?

This week, Sophie Lawrence, Stewardship and Engagement Lead at Rathbone Greenbank Investments is our guest presenter. She was one of the guests who spoke at The Food Foundation’s Investor Summit, Putting Money on the Menu, which was the first of its kind to explore how the investment community can transform the UK food system.


Following the UN Food Systems Summit and the release of the National Food Strategy in 2021, an Investor Coalition on Food Policy was created, initially set up by Rathbone Greenbank, with support from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation and the Food Foundation. The Coalition, which now represents over 20 investors with over £6 trillion in assets under management is focused on the UK to begin with and exists to harness the power of the investment community to engage with policymakers on food policy. 


Sophie finds out what investors could mean to the future of the food system, with Tim Benton from the Environment and Society Programme at Chatham House, Jessica Attard from ShareActionRune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, Secretary-General at the Vegetarian Society of Denmark and Director of Policy Initiatives at the International Vegetarian Union, Morten Fenger of Organic Plant Protein in Denmark and Stuart Lendrum, head of product and process at Iceland


To find out more about the Coalition, click here



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Maternal Diet and Obesity

This week, Melissa Hemsley, food writer, chef and sustainability champion, joins the Food Foundation podcast to look at the factors that can stop women getting healthy food when they're pregnant and when they're planning to be.


The Food Foundation's latest report Preconception, Pregnancy and Healthy Weight in Childhood shows how much a child’s health is influenced before conception, in the womb, and how a child is predisposed to obesity if their parents, especially their mother is living with obesity. We meet mums and food workers from around the country who describe what it's like to try to feed your unborn and newborn child when transport and the cost of living crisis makes access and affordability just two of the biggest deterrents to a healthy diet.


Nutritionist and one of the authors of the report, Jenny Rosborough outlines its main findings, while Jeni Meadows of the Food Justice Partnership at Lancaster City Council, Lucy Jackman of Feeding Bristol and Natasha Ricketts from the Evelyn Community Centre in Lewisham introduce us to some of the mums who need the most help.


Check out the report here which urges Government to do more to address health inequalities and improve the food environment, particularly for families and parents on a low income. Rates of overweight and obesity in pregnant women increase as the level of deprivation increases. Women living in the most deprived areas are more likely to be underweight or are living with obesity.


The report draws attention to the fact that, while Government has acknowledged the need to reduce levels of childhood obesity, more than 1 fifth of children aged four and five start school in England with overweight or obesity (22.2%). These rates are more than twice as high in children living in the most deprived areas compared to the least.

 


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A Hostile Environment: An asylum seeker's Christmas

In this episode, we’re at the front line of food insecurity as we visit some of the food banks feeding migrants and asylum seekers who don’t have recourse to public funds this Christmas.


We’re looking at the key findings of a new report by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire and commissioned by the Food Foundation. It shows a pretty bleak Christmas for over a million migrants and asylum seekers waiting for their legal status to be approved.


The Food Foundation wants the Healthy Start food voucher scheme to be made permanent, and to actively promote access to it among families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)


We want the Government to provide local authorities with the resources they need to ensure families with no recourse to public funds to get the support they need. And that includes accommodation with adequate kitchen and cooking facilities for asylum seekers. And we want the govt to collect data to establish real levels of food insecurity among families and individuals with NRPF.


Listen to why it matters with Claire Thompson at University of Hertfordshire, Ray Woolford from We Care at Kath's Place, Juliet Sekitoleko at Brighton Minority and Ethnic Community Partnership



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Feed the Future


This week, Dev looks back at the Food Foundation's Feed the Future event which promoted the super powers of free school meals to a hall full of MPs, campaigners and celebrity chefs.


800,000 children live in poverty in the UK, but because they’re not poor enough, they’re not entitled to free school meals. The threshold is just £7400 per household after benefits, yet expanding free school meals to all children from households who get Universal Credit would reach all these children in poverty.


As the influencer guests sat down for a Chefs in School dinner served by Tom Kerridge and Melissa Hemsley, and with young people who’ve experienced first-hand just how important free school meals are, the chat was enlightening for everyone.


Write to your MP in seconds to ask for free schools for all children who need it by clicking on this link


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The State of the Nation

Accompanying the publication this week of the Food Foundation's annual State of the Nation report, we look at how the Out of Home sector is woefully behind in setting health targets, and providing healthier food options for the vast number of people - including children - who eat out regularly.


Presented by Food Foundation young food ambassador, Saf, we hear from Sainsbury's, Eating Better and the Soil Association about why mandatory reporting on access to healthy and affordable food when we're out and about is so important.


For full details of the report, click here


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Food Futures: How Sustainable Cities Could Save People and Planet

In this episode, Yumna, one of our young food ambassadors takes us to her home town of Birmingham and the Commonwealth Food Futures 2022 conference where 20 cities around the world showcase their plans to transform the food system. 


Yumna speaks to Dr David Nabarro, co-leader of the United Nation's Global Crisis Response Group, nurse, midwife, activist and the first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland from 2003 to 2006, Dr Edna Adan Ismail and Dr Justin Varney from Birmingham City Council. We hear from people leading change in thinking and practice from Malawi to Gujerat and Namibia, while Leyla Kazim from BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme who was hosting the day reflects on how much she's learned.




 


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Cooking and Growing in Early Years Settings


This week, sisters Laiba and Rushda, two of the Food Foundation's newest young ambassadors, report on how learning to cook, eating fresh food and growing it in nursery and pre-school gardens could help to transform our food culture and the nation’s health.


At Crookfur Family Centre in Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, they find how kids learn to play with broccoli trees in the dinosaur sand pit, run a pretend grocer’s shop, create art projects with vegetables and sing vegetable songs as part of a Nourish Scotland and Peas Please pilot. And at Maple Tree nursery and pre-school in Walsall, Laiba and Rushda find out how the Soil Association's Food for Life programme has created a food-centred environment for the whole family.






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Good Food Bill: how to future-proof food insecurity

This week, Jani looks at how a Good Food Bill could create a more resilient system, feeding people better and future-proofing food insecurity in the UK as we face a massive rise in the cost of living, food shortages, energy hikes and climate change. The waters are getting very choppy for all of us. But for some of the most vulnerable, it's really scary. 


Isabel Hughes from The Food Foundation and Pete Ritchie of Nourish Scotland explore what a Good Food Bill could do for the most vulnerable. Mum of four, Kathleen, and Jani and her uni house mates report from the front line of food insecurity.


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Levelling Up: the view from the streets of Barrow

This week, we’re looking at Levelling Up, the Government's plan to equal out the differences between north and south to help towns recover from decades of poverty. Asha, one of the Food Foundation's teenage ambassadors, finds out what that means in her home town of Barrow-in-Furness on the North West coast.


Once known as the Chicago of England, Barrow was the largest iron and steel producer in the world and is still an important shipyard. Asha finds out what the issues are, and finds some inspiring projects already being supported by local government. Could the closed down shops in hollowed out high streets become food hubs in a new vision of food as central to community life?





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COP26: the youth view
Food Foundation ambassador, Ryan McShane and Act4Food Act4Change youth leader, Dara Karakolis present this special episode of Right2Food from COP26. With roving reporters, Dev, Bernis and Yumna joining them to bring the young person's view from Glasgow, they explain why it's so important that food and farming is on the climate change agenda.

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Free School Meals and why they matter
In this episode, Food Foundation ambassadors Fayeth and Beth explore the stigma and availability of healthy options in free school meals, and the trail blazing example set by Nourish Scotland and the Scottish government.

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Holiday Activities and Food Programme
This week, Beth, one of the Food Foundation's teenage ambassadors, takes us back to the heady days of summer when holiday activity programmes funded by the Government gave so many kids a chance to get at least one good meal a day. A host of parents, teachers and play scheme leaders, including the award winning Abraham Moss Warriors, explain why it's vital that the Holiday Activities and Food Programme continues to support families in need.

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Valley Fest

Join Asha and the Food Foundation's young food advocates as they camp out for a weekend of growth, learning and creativity at Valley Fest in Somerset. As they develop their understanding of food system transformation and their advocacy and campaigning skills in a fun and engaging environment, they're inspired by business leaders, campaigners, politicians, and policy makers, as well as young food advocates, activists, artists and entrepreneurs. 



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Special - National Food Strategy Youth Consultation

The Food Foundation spoke to 426 young people across the country in September and October 2020 to find out their views and priorities for the future of food in Britain.  

Twenty of those young people joined together on Zoom to dive deeper into food systems and refine their ideas and priorities. They then presented their policy proposals to invited decision makers. The report and their recommendations fed directly into the National Food Strategy. 


In the second episode, our group of twenty debate some tough food issues, before preparing and presenting their policy proposals to invited guests from government, business and the National Food Strategy team.


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Special - National Food Strategy Youth Consultation

The Food Foundation spoke to 426 young people across the country in September and October 2020 to find out their views and priorities for the future of food in Britain.

Twenty of those young people joined together on Zoom to dive deeper into food systems and refine their ideas and priorities. They then presented their policy proposals to invited decision makers. The report and their recommendations fed directly into the National Food Strategy.


In this first episode, our group of twenty explore what it means to be a citizen and an advocate, they explore what a food system looks like for different products and they consider the problems, causes and solutions of food system issues and how they interact.


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Actions4Change
Sixteen-year-old food activist, Saffron Stedall introduces us to some of the young campaigners behind a global youth movement called Act4Food Act4Change. She hears their stories and why they're taking their Actions4Change, the first ever list of asks of governments and businesses all over the world need in order to transform our broken food system to the UN Food Systems Summit.

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Messaging For Good
Ever wondered if advertising healthy food to kids on TV could change the way they snack? In the final episode in this series, co-hosted with the delicious. podcast for delicious magazine, Gilly Smith is joined by Abbie ParkesHolden and Charlie Thurloe, two of the young people helping the Food Foundation to find fresh new ideas to change the food system, look at some extraordinary examples of positive messaging that could reduce obesity.

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Unravelling The Food Chain
This week Gilly Smith is joined by Subhan Shan, one of 426 young people who the Food Foundation consulted to find fresh new policy ideas for the National Food Strategy. They explore the ways in which we have to count the carbon footprint of our current food system and how we begin to start looking for solutions. And... they find the answer!

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The Rise of the Food Club

In a special collaboration with the delicious. podcast for delicious. magazine, Gilly Smith introduces us to a group of young people, some of whom have experienced first-hand food poverty, to explore how to make the food system fairer. All four episodes of the delicious. podcast have been produced in partnership with the Food Foundation and the Right2Food podcast.



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The Influencers

In a special collaboration with the delicious. podcast for delicious. magazine, Gilly Smith introduces us to a group of young people, some of whom have experienced first-hand food poverty, to explore how to make the food system fairer. All four episodes of the delicious. podcast have been produced in partnership with the Food Foundation and the Right2Food podcast.


In this episode, listen to Dame Emma Thompson, Marcus Rashford, Melissa Hemsley and a host of young ambassadors discussing the issues of food poverty, and the ways in which people, no matter their status, can make their voice be heard.


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Rice, peas and plantain
When refugees and migrants were plunged into food insecurity at the start of the pandemic, losing zero hour contracts and part time jobs, Brighton’s Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP) became much more than a food bank with its culturally appropriate foods and friendship. 

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Ital: Rasta food and friendship for Lambeth's poorest families
Sister Marcia and Sister Stella of the Rastafari Movement UK are proud to be able to use their Rasta creed to feed the most vulnerable in their community in South London. By gathering surplus organic fruit and veg from their members’ allotments, they deliver ital, the rasta word for nutrition, to those who can barely afford to feed their families throughout the pandemic.

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Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet
Sixty nine-year-old food campaigner, Sharon Goodyer shows Food Foundation ambassadors Felix and Fayeth how her private members' food club, Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet in Margate could radically change the food system and enable the poorest to afford to cook and eat healthy, delicious food every day of the week. 

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Bristol Food Club
This week the Food Foundation's food ambassadors Dev and Asha report from Bristol on the weekly food club which brings early years education and food surplus together to provide local families with quality food boxes and a community that cares about what we eat.

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Cook It!
This week The Food Foundation's young ambassadors Shane and Anna report from Portadown and the summer Cook It course, a 4-week cookery programme which supports members of immigrant communities and kids on free school meals. 

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Evelyn Community Store
This week, Food Foundation's ambassadors Rabiya and Saffy tell the story of The Evelyn Community store in Lewisham and hear from three single parents and their children who have found a lifeline in this local community centre.

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Lockdown Life
Jani, Beth and Jacob are among the Food Foundation young ambassadors reporting from the front line of food poverty. Here they tell how COVID-19 has affected the most vulnerable groups in British society, from access to food and free school meal vouchers to the threat of holiday hunger and food insecurity for thousands of children this summer.

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Right2Food: The Pilot
An introduction to Right2Food, the loud hailing podcast of the Food Foundation to campaign for access to good food for kids everywhere. With Dame Emma Thompson, Anna Taylor and the young ambassadors with lived experience of food insecurity who fight for a better system.

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