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BIG-funded school food project scoops national BBC award

25 November 2011

The Food for Life Partnership – which is funded by close to £17m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Well-being programme – has won a top award in the 2011 Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards.

The project scooped the competition’s prestigious Derek Cooper Award, which recognises “unsung heroes, whose work has increased our access to, and knowledge and appreciation of, good food”.

Hailed by Radio4 Food programme presenter Sheila Dillon as “the most important food project in Europe”, the Food for Life 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. Working with over 4,200 schools in England, it is enabling children to eat good food, learn where it comes from, how it is produced, and how to grow it and cook it themselves.

Emma Noble, co-director of the Food for Life Partnership, collected the award saying: “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the impact the Food for Life Partnership is having. We know that children are eating more fruit and veg as a result; that the programme helps ‘close the gap’ in health and academic attainment between disadvantaged children and their peers; schools show a significant increase in free school meal uptake which is crucial in encouraging healthy eating habits; and twice as many primary schools received an Outstanding Ofsted rating after working with the Food for Life Partnership.”

Sheila Dillon said: “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. You’ve seen the evidence, 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”.

For more information about the Food for Life Partnership, visit:  www.foodforlife.org.uk

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