Best still to come for children and families
The Food for Life Partnership, led by the Soil Association, received more than £16 million in Lottery good cause cash in December 2006 to create a healthy food culture in local communities.
In this guest blog, the Soil Association’s Jo Wild highlights some of the achievements of the BIG-funded scheme. As we discover, the results have been impressive.
Before I joined the Food for Life Partnership (FFLP) team I’d done my homework. I knew the programme transformed food culture in schools by making lunchtimes a positive feature of the day, and enriching classroom learning with farm visits and practical cooking and growing activities.
I’d absorbed results of evaluation of the first five years of the Big Lottery-funded project and seen how its positive influence reached beyond the school gates, changing family eating habits too.
I’d read research showing how the programme improved children’s attainment and offered local return on investment, while I also understood that the project tackled inequalities and improved health and wellbeing.
I was impressed and very excited to join the FFLP team earlier this year. However, I hadn’t realised the best was still to come; being inspired daily by the numerous activities that create these great overall results.
Here are just some examples:
- The inner city school that turned their assembly hall into a fish market, inviting parents to join pupils to learn about sustainable fishing, sample new dishes and take away seasonal recipes to try
- The academy caterer who worked closely with the student council to redesign menus to ensure that healthy eating was as attractive as possible for students, many of whom have poor diets at home
- The primary pupils who told me about caring for their rescued former battery hens, how they had watched their health improve and how they loved collecting their eggs and using them in cookery classes
- The enterprising secondary students who replaced high-salt tomato ketchup by making their own seasonal, organic relishes and chutney with produce from the school garden and now sell their products to parents and the local community
- The primary school that grow produce in their garden from around the world to ensure that the diverse cultural background of their school population is represented.
There are many more which you can read about here.
BIG funding has allowed the Food for Life Partnership to create the motivational framework that supports over 4,300 enrolled schools to develop fantastic initiatives like these, each one making a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of both their children and families.
I hope that, like me, you too are not only impressed with the results of the Food for Life Partnership programme, but what it inspires its participants to do to achieve them.
Jo Wild is Communications and Schools Awards Manager at the Soil Association.