The Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Food Board represent a regional food partnership on behalf of the Mayor of London. The Food Board consists of experts spanning the breadth of the food system (from hospitality, markets and civil society to academia, public health nutrition and farming) who advise the Mayor and GLA Food Policy team on food matters affecting Londoners.
Having reappointed the Board in 2017, members informed the development of the first London Food Strategy in over 10 years, which was launched in December 2018.
The strategy uses the Sustainable Food Places approach as a framework and outlines the Mayor's priorities and plans to help all Londoners access healthy, sustainable and culturally appropriate food regardless of their background and circumstances. Its six chapters reflect the holistic and cross-cutting role food plays and the fact it can improve health and wellbeing, provide rewarding jobs and skills opportunities, build stronger communities and help protect the environment.
The strategy's implementation plan sets out the specific actions, programmes and interventions the Mayor and partners are supporting to achieve its objectives.
Historically, the Mayor and GLA's Food Programme has funded the delivery of policies and projects including but not limited to:
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the GLA and London Food Board has worked closely alongside local authorities and VCS organisations across London to respond to the pandemic's impact on food insecurity and ensure Londoners can continue to access food. Initially, this involved helping the London Food Alliance to establish at least one Community Food Hub in all 33 London boroughs, which enabled the onward distribution of increased quantities of food to frontline food charities and those in need.
Following the successful establishment of this infrastructure, the London Food Board established a Food Aid Sub-Group to monitor levels of demand for food aid, food supplies and onward distribution arrangements. The Sub-Group also supported every London local authority to develop a Food Transition Plan to prepare for an increased demand for food aid, including in the event of a second wave.
This has all taken place alongside the Mayor calling on Government to tackle the underlying drivers of food insecurity.