SUSTAINABLE CATERING has been given a £3.6m boost thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Well-Being programme.
The Food for Life Partnership, a national school food programme run by the Soil Association, has been awarded the grant to help promote healthy eating and healthier communities through improved access to nutritious food and food education.
Established in 2007, the Food for Life Partnership currently works with over 4,500 schools across England, supporting them to provide “fresh, well-sourced and healthy meals” at lunchtimes.
The programme includes the Food for Life Catering Mark, the popularity of which is growing rapidly. With over 140 million accredited meals served last year, it is the fastest growing foodservice best-practice scheme said the Soil Association.
Independent evaluation has shown the scheme can also make a difference to participants’ health, reporting that 28% more children were eating 5-a-day and 43% of parents were eating more vegetables.
With the new funding, the concept is also set to be extended beyond schools into new areas such as hospitals, workplaces, universities and care homes. The Royal Society for Public Health, one of the leading bodies in health and wellbeing promotion in the UK, is also now a partner.
“The development of the Food for Life Partnership approach into workplaces, hospitals and care homes can only strengthen the positive changes around catering in these areas that are already starting to be achieved by the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark,” said Soil Association chief executive, and chair of the Food for Life Partnership board, Helen Browning.