Tower Hamlets has been named as one of the leading London boroughs in tackling food poverty issues, according to the London Food Board.
The Board’s Beyond the Food Bank report rated Tower Hamlets Council as fourth overall out of 33 boroughs for its progress in helping the most vulnerable access good food.
These measures included:
• providing over 9,900 free school meals;
• establishing the Food for Health awards of which 120 businesses are a part of;
• providing over 127,700 hot meals through Meals on Wheels to those most vulnerable;
• working with market traders to encourage further uptake of the Healthy Start food vouchers;
• encouraging breastfeeding through the council’s Baby Friendly Initiative;
• supporting the London living wage.
After demonstrating its commitment to action, the Greater London Authority (GLA) confirmed Tower Hamlets Council will receive £5,000 in funding to develop a food poverty action plan to further strengthen this work.
Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board, said:
“London boroughs are well-placed to intervene in a range of areas to avert or mitigate food poverty, to ensure Londoners have reliable access to sufficient affordable and nutritious food.
“Working in partnership with Sustain, the mayor is supporting London boroughs to develop local food poverty action plans. These will allow local authorities and their partners and associates to work together to identify risks, assess current provision and coordinate action.
“Tower Hamlets Council showcased the necessary vision to help build local capacity to address the real-life food needs of their residents.”
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, also just recently approved a £5m Tackling Poverty Fund in the council’s budget proposals for 2017 – 2020.
He said: “It is a scandal that in modern Britain people still struggle with food poverty. We are committed to doing all we can to support our most vulnerable residents and this grant from City Hall will allow us to expand that work and help even more people.
“The new food poverty action plan we are developing will build on our already successful existing programmes which aim to ensure nobody is left hungry in Tower Hamlets.”
Tower Hamlets is one of five boroughs to receive the funding and support from the GLA and Sustain to see the action plan through. The plans will focus on addressing wider issues which contribute to individuals and families experiencing either short- or long-term food poverty. A steering group will be created to develop the action plan, made up of a range of stakeholders including community groups and residents.
Posted on Friday 24th February 2017