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Lewisham's work on Community Food Action recognised in the Good Food Local Report 2024

A new report, Good Food Local: The London Report, published today by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, has awarded Lewisham Council a commendation for their work on Community Food Action, particularly giving voice to residents, focusing on food justice, and giving targeted grants to communities who face barriers to food growing.

The report measured the council’s approach to food within the borough with measurement across multiple areas, such as response to the cost-of-living crisis, children’s food, food growing and healthier food environments.


Of the 29 councils surveyed for the report by Sustain, 11 councils received awards. Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets received leadership awards. Wandsworth Council was awarded most improved council. Waltham Forest and Westminster have also received commendations.


Simone Riddle, Food Justice Programme Manager at Lewisham Local, says: “We are really pleased that Lewisham has received a commendation for Community Food Action within the Good Food For All Londoners Report;


Good Food Lewisham, a project hosted by Lewisham Local, has played a key role in building the good food movement locally in Lewisham over the last two years, prioritising work on food justice, community food growing and good food retail.


This commendation is a testament to the work of the Good Food team and all the community partners across the borough working on the good food agenda.”


Good Food Lewisham were invited to speak at the launch event on Thursday 29th of February to talk about their work on Community Food Action from a food partnership perspective and whose activities were integral to Lewisham receiving an award in this area.


So great to hear from Simone at @lewishamlocal #FoodPartnership on their amazing work on community & grassroots food action and #GoodFoodMovement, earning them a Leadership status in this year’s #GoodFoodLocal London report.“ Vera Zakharov, Sustain


Bella Driessen, Local Policy Coordinator at Sustain says: “In our twelfth year of writing this report, it is fantastic to see continued progress across the capital. Despite incredibly tight budgets, and grappling with the cost-of-living crisis, councils have shown they are committed to making food healthier, more sustainable, and more accessible for their residents."


"We are delighted to be presenting awards to several councils that are doing remarkable work for their communities, and we commend all the councils that took part in the survey and are making efforts to champion good food.”


The report coincides with the five-year anniversary of the Transport for London advertising policy restricting adverts for unhealthy foods. In the last year, three London councils have passed Healthier Food Advertising policies, making a total of seven London Councils to do so. An economic health model published in The International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found that the TfL policy alone could prevent 95,000 cases of obesity and reduce sugary food purchases by 20%, with positive effects now rolling out across boroughs.


In January, the Mayor of London announced an extension of free school meals to all primary aged children until 2025. This policy shift around school meals is reflected in this year’s report, with more councils expanding eligibility for school meals to secondary schools or supplementing the funding for school meals to improve the quality. 


Barbara Crowther, Campaign Manager for the Children’s Food Campaign at Sustain says: “With new Mayoral funding for primary school meals, 2023 was a momentous year for school food in London. Many councils have gone the extra mile with advice and support, including additional grants to improve kitchen and dining facilities, or top up funding beyond £2.65 per meal, or expand their secondary meal services.


“The opportunity – and challenge – is not just putting food on a plate, but ensuring it is nutritious, and appealing, connects into food education and learning, and supports local health, sustainability and climate change goals. What happens in London has the power to inform and transform future government policies and funding levels, not just in London but across the nation; not just for primary, but for all children from nursery to sixth form.”  

The full report is available at www.sustainweb.org/good-food-local/london.

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