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How Borough Councils can help

Local authorities across London and the UK are supporting food growing in schools in many different ways, with the support of Food Growing Schools: London.

Our research shows that incorporating food growing into whole school activities, across curriculum subjects, and with local community support has a significant impact on health, the economy, education, community cohesion and the environment, for all.

Read how the Tri-borough (City of Westminster, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) have come together to help encourage food growing through the Healthy Schools London programme.

To read a summary of the mounting evidence take a look at our research findings

Take local action

We can help you develop local borough food growing strategies that:

  • Nurture and support your schools who have existing growing initiatives and create local flagship schools to inspire other to grow;
  • Develop a local action plan for delivering a borough-wide approach to food growing;
  • Set up a food growing partnership, identifying and networkinglocal organisations;
  • Consult with local people, community groups, businesses and social landlords about food growing ideas and encourage them to work with their local schools.

We recommend Borough Councils take the following three steps to get started:

  1. Identify designated contacts within your council to promote food growing directly to schools such as Healthy Schools leads, Education and Communication officers
  2. Use this toolkit to promote food growing to schools in your borough via your communications
  3. Contact Kate Groves, FGSL Project Manager, to get free support and to find out how your borough ranks against others based on research: kgroves@gardenorganic.org.uk or call 0207 065 0889.

Food Flagship Boroughs

The London boroughs of Lambeth and Croydon won c£600k to pioneer school-based & community projects to improve health and attainment, beating 20 other boroughs who applied. Announced by the Mayor of London, Lighter London, the ambitious pilot projects ran from September 2014 to January 2017. Read More


Good Food for London - Report 2016

Each year London Food Link produces an annual league table  that shines a light on London’s local authorities, to encourage them to identify straightforward and significant steps to improve food in their borough - as well as those lagging behind

How did your borough perform in 2016? - Good Food For London 2016  

Lambeth - a borough-wide approach to food growing

Incredible Edible Lambeth

 

The partnership initially started by writing a strategy along with mapping the various strands of work already taking place. It was also important to bring together the right partners from within various Council departments, the NHS, education, food growing projects and representation from the newly formed ‘Incredible Edible Lambeth’.

 

Lambeth Council’s initial journey into the world of food growing came through their Green Community Champions programme . In the first year more than 40 projects were set up, mainly down to the huge interest in food growing in the borough. This was helped by a pro-active Council officer who recognised the benefits of these projects and offered advice and support to local groups and colleagues.

This gave rise to a new way of thinking when working with local people, providing a more supportive role rather than a leadership role. This resident-led approach to food growing projects has helped shape other Council agendas and is challenging Council officers to work more directly with local people in other areas of work. As projects developed and local people requested greater support it was decided to create the Lambeth Food Partnership with a launch in June 2012.

The Lambeth Food Partnership has ten aims:

  • Education - Provide education and learning initiatives both in formal and informal settings across the Borough to raise awareness of sustainable food issues.
  • Networking - Provide networking opportunities to improve the connections between the various components of the food system, to share good learning and encourage partnership working.
  • Policy - Ensure that all policies and strategies across the Borough, for example planning, economic development, support a sustainable food system in Lambeth.
  • Food poverty / Access - Improve access to healthy affordable food for all residents.
  • Waste - Reduce food related waste in Lambeth – reduce, re-use and recycle
  • Land - Increase access to land for growing and other food related activities for residents and community groups.
  • Culture/Behaviour change - Celebrate the cultural diversity of food in the Borough, encourage positive behaviour change to support health and wellbeing and provide opportunities for community engagement in food activities.
  • Environmental sustainability - Promote food produced in ways which conserve and enhance the environment and contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Procurement - Introduce procurement policies within public institutions e.g. schools, hospitals which include sustainable and nutritious food, and which support animal welfare and fair-trade.
  • Local economy - Encourage the development of a vibrant local food economy, support food related SMEs and local food growing initiatives.