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Award winning council widens access to healthy food and shift to greener thinking, says new report

Westminster City Council has been recognised with the award for most improved local authority for action on root causes of food poverty in the latest Good Food for All Londoners report.

This year’s report shows more Westminster residents have more access to affordable, and healthy food as all London councils step up in challenging times following Covid-19 and the impact the cost-of-living crisis.

From the 28 councils who took part in this year’s survey, Westminster finished 7th  in the ‘Beyond the Food Bank’ theme showing an increased prioritisation of food and progress on food poverty. It found that the central London council was worthy of the most improved title after their hard work in continuing to deliver their Fairer Community commitment in supporting residents with local community food pantries and expanding their provision of universal free school meals for all children aged 3 to 14.

The report also shows which boroughs are finding creative ways to address the climate and nature emergency through food, including serving sustainable meals in schools. In Westminster, for example, the Cook and Dine Together initiative uses a creative approach to teach parents and children how to prepare cheap and sustainable meals from all around the world. Staff, parents and children cook a healthy meal together, then dine as a group at the end of the session.

The independent report, reviews council action on food under two key themes: tackling the root causes of food poverty and supporting residents to access affordable, healthy and climate-friendly food. Pressing issues measured in the report include how London’s councils are tackling household food insecurity, promoting healthy diets, supporting a flourishing local food economy, and addressing climate change through food. All of these affect the way we eat, our health and the communities we live in.

Find out more details on the Good Food for All Londoners report and how Westmisnter rated by reading the full report.

On accepting the award, Cllr Aicha Less, deputy leader and cabinet member for communities, public protection and licencing said:

Receiving this recognition is fantastic and I am so grateful for the tireless work council staff undertake to support our communities. This is award is for them.

The report makes me proud to see our work in action in allowing Westmisnter residents to have access to healthy and affordable food. Findings from the report can ensure we learn from other London Councils work with others to improve the food provision for residents.

But the work doesn’t stop here, our Fairer Communities commitment means we want to continue working with partners to celebrate everything Westminster has to offer whilst helping those who need it most."

Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive at Sustain said:

London’s councils have a critically important role to play in ensuring that all Londoners can eat well.

Where access to healthy and sustainable food is prioritised, our city is prosperous, green and thriving. The Good Food for All Londoners report shows what can be achieved when we set our hearts, minds and policies to achieving a better food system.

It is now our duty to make this work for everybody, not just for those in boroughs showing leadership."

 

Published: 29 March 2023