What is Food for Life?
Food for Life is a Bristol-based organisation working with schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes across the country to help people eat good food, see where food comes from and choose well-sourced ingredients as well as learn how to grow and cook food. Their aim is for good food to be the norm for everybody.
They provide a number of programmes for these settings to work through and awards to recognise the work they are doing. At a basic award level a school will need to, amongst other things, have a food policy to show that it is committed to improving the school’s food culture, demonstrate that the food it serves is healthy, uses seasonal ingredients and that the majority of the food is freshly prepared, offer the opportunity for children to visit a local farm as well as take part in cooking and food growing activities. At the highest award level, the majority of pupils will be eating school meals which are made from healthy, ethically, locally sourced, organic (where possible) ingredients, the children are actively participating in the work of a local farm as well as growing food for the school and the schools are involving the parents and local community in their food-based activities.
Who’s behind Food for Life?
Food for Life is a programme run by the Soil Association, a charity which campaigns for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. They support farmers to achieve organic certification and use innovative approaches to food production as well as help the public to think about the food and products they are buying and support them to make better choices.
What makes it great?
They work with the whole setting, for example, in a nursery or school they work with the children to increase their understanding of good food and get them cooking, with the carers/teachers so that they can support the children on their learning journey, with the parents so that they can continue the good work at home with their children and often learn how to cook themselves, with the kitchen staff who are preparing the lunches to ensure they are providing meals using good quality and seasonal ingredients which will sustain the children and the wider school community so that they can support the school with their food education.
How can you support Food for Life?
You can follow the activities of Food for Life and see the work of the settings they are working with on their Facebook page.
Talk to your child’s school or nursery about how they might work with Food for Life to achieve an award. There is some information here to help you do that. Or perhaps, your child’s setting is already working towards an award and there is something you could do to help support them on this journey, maybe volunteering some time to help with their growing activities or perhaps you have an expertise or know someone with an expertise that could be invaluable to the school.