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

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Right2Food

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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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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