Tower Hamlets scoops award for tackling food poverty

Beyond the Food Bank Cllr Blake

Councillor Rachel Blake collects an award

Tower Hamlets Council has been ranked joint third in London for continuing to tackle food poverty for vulnerable residents in the borough.

The annual Beyond the Food Bank report, part of Sustain’s London Food Poverty Campaign, provides an overall picture of how much London boroughs are doing to reduce long-term food poverty. They are ranked on ten initiatives including the promotion of breastfeeding and the implementation of a food poverty action plan.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty collected the award at the ‘Good Food for all Londoners’ event, which took place at City Hall on Wednesday 30 October.

It is the second year running that the council has been ranked in the top three London boroughs.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Food poverty and the rise of people using food banks is sadly a very real issue across London but we’re working hard to support our residents to access healthy food here in Tower Hamlets. Despite the cuts to our budget, we’ve prioritised supporting our most vulnerable residents and I’m pleased that this has been recognised by these awards.”

The council is working closely with partner organisations and is part of the Tower Hamlets Food Partnership, which aims to create a healthy and sustainable food environment across the borough. Part of this project is to develop a new Fair Food for All action plan to tackle food poverty in Tower Hamlets.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty, said: “Access to healthy food is the foundation of living a healthy life but, shamefully, food poverty exists in the capital. We want to make sure that no-one in the borough has to go hungry. Promoting Healthy Start vouchers,  providing a 100 per cent Council Tax Reduction Scheme, delivering a holiday hunger programme, providing universal free school meals are just some of the support Tower Hamlets currently offers to our residents but there is still more to do to make sure that we end food poverty.’’

The council has also recently contributed towards the first community fridge in the borough through the Tackling Poverty Innovation Fund, which will be located in the Bromley by Bow Centre. The fridge, which will be launching in the next few months, will help to reduce food waste and enable people facing food poverty to have easy access to fresh, nutritious food.

Posted on Friday 1st November 2019