Its reputation for good work around food and nutrition has seen Croydon welcomed into a pioneering national food network that shares innovation and best practice to stem the rise of preventable health problems.
One of the country’s fastest-growing social movements, the Sustainable Food Cities Network seeks solutions to issues including obesity, diet-related ill health, food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss, and declining prosperity.
This involves area partnerships of public agencies, businesses and organisations committed to making healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live and work.
Last year, Croydon was awarded Food Flagship status, and the project has worked to tackle the high sugar and salt content in many kids’ daily diets, and encourage residents to cook healthier meals. Funding and grants are provided for cooking, gardening and food-growing initiatives with schools and residents in partnership with local businesses.
The project will now support the network by sharing best practice across the UK to transform food culture for the better.
The Food Flagship’s cross-sector approach endeavours to reduce some of the key inequalities outlined in Croydon’s annual public health report, which gives a snapshot of health outcomes for residents, and reviews how services are performing locally.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“Croydon’s role at the heart of the Sustainable Food Cities Network means that we’re part of a growing and influential movement to improve the nation’s relationship with healthy foods. It’s also an opportunity to address, on a national platform, some of the social and economic issues that can lead to poor health outcomes.
“We look forward to sharing more widely the work of our Food Flagship project, which is supported by residents and key organisations who are delivering our ambitions to transform the local food environment.”
Read more about Croydon’s Food Flagship project at www.croydon.gov.uk/foodflagship
Further information on the Sustainable Food Cities Network can be found at www.sustainablefoodcities.org/about