Sustainable Food Newham has been established to bridge the gap between the Newham Food Alliance’s work on food security and our wider sustainability ambitions by bringing together representatives from the council, health, VCFS, schools, other anchor institutions and business.
Newham already has a strong track record through the Newham Food Alliance (NFA) of partnership working with grassroots and community organisations - that span the geography, food cultures, and social need in the borough – collaborating effectively with the council and other anchor institutions. The Alliance has strong links with regional and national partners.
Sustainable Food Newham will create a specific space for joined up work on the sustainable food leadership; experts across the private, public and third sector will develop and lead on these work streams to ensure Newham is at the forefront of the sustainable food movement.
Longstanding large Sustainable Food projects in Newham include:
Eat For Free is the UKs oldest Universal Free School Meals programme established in 2009. Every child in Newham primary schools is offered a nutritious hot meal every day. The conditions are designed to ensure that meals are to a certified standard and pay London Living Wage and sign up to food for life pledge.
The Newham Food Alliance is a partnership of 41 VCFS organisations, the council, The Felix project delivering a diverse network of food banks, food clubs and community hot meals. The partners work together to co-produce resources and toolkits, set the standard for partnership and sustain this ongoing relationship. No single UK borough uses more surplus food.
Holiday Activity & Food –The council’s dedicated SMART Food team provide nutritionist support and oversight to menus. To make the government finding go further many HAF providers work directly with surplus food charities like The Felix Project and City Harvest building on the borough’s confidence in using what the food system would otherwise waste!
Examples of projects that are emerging, growing and scaling right now in Newham include:
We are food growing. Local food growing is a big priority for Newham. It is an Eat for Free grant principle and this toolkit co-produced with Newham’s school food growers gives the coaching and guidance for all schools to get the most out East London soil, climate and urban landscape.
Food Waste LBN run regular workshops with local project partner Nutrition Kitchen. Residents apply to join a workshop that will teach them about portion sizes, how to use leftovers, when food is safe to eat and which foods can be frozen.
Surplus food in school playgrounds - Felix Project provide surplus fruit and vegetables driven by council vehicles with mass participation by teachers, students and parents across ten schools to make sure that good food doesn’t go to waste.
Healthier Businesses Innovation Hub - Being developed with academics from Oxford and Newcastle Universities to provide local residents and existing Newham businesses with the training, skills and resources to deliver a healthier offer.