Cracking Good Food

The National Food Strategy


Food Strategy

Researched and written by Henry Dimbleby and released in 2021, the National Food Strategy presents a range of recommendations for a fairer, more equal and more sustainable UK food system. We believe that the recommendations represent a ‘bare minimum’ of what needs to be done to alleviate hunger and increase food securities amongst the communities in which we work, but we whole-heartedly support their implementation into policy at the earliest possible opportunity. 

The following Key Recommendations are supported by our projects and services: 

  • Recommendation 3. Launch a new “Eat and Learn” initiative for schools.

Our educational programmes for schools offer a fun, engaging and accessible opportunity for young people to engage with cooking-from-scratch and to learn more about sustainable food systems. Our team of knowledgeable nutritionists and canny community cooks are experts in delivering our ‘good food messages’ to empower young minds to make positive food choices. 

  • Recommendation 5. Fund the Holiday Activities and Food programme for the next three years.

This summer, we partnered with Life Leisure in Stockport to deliver more than 2900 healthy packed lunches and freshly-cooked hot meals to children from low-income households during the school holidays. This video illustrates some of the many reasons it is imperative that the HAF programme is extended:

  • Recommendation 6. Expand the Healthy Start Scheme.
  • The Healthy Start scheme aims to tackle health inequalities and maximise the incomes of young pregnant women and low-income families with children under the age of 4. Eligible families receive vouchers of £4.25 a week to spend on fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables, pulses and grains and cow’s milk, helping to ensure that every child has a healthy start no matter their circumstances. Unfortunately, £4 million of vouchers go unclaimed in Greater Manchester each year, meaning that 40% of eligible families are missing out. 
  • As part of the GM Healthy Start Voucher Task & Finish Group, we work with many other stakeholders to campaign for the expansion of the scheme to include people with no access to public funds.  We have also been contributing to the planning conversations about the impending digitisation of the scheme, now due to take place in 2022. We are vocal advocates of the expansion of the scheme to include more people.  
  • Throughout our community projects such as Veg-Up! and Pantry Pods, we ensure that the people we are supporting are made aware of Healthy Start Vouchers and supported to apply for them if they wish. There are many barriers that can prevent people from applying; we work with ground-level partner organisations around Greater Manchester to ensure people are provided with the necessary support to apply wherever we can. For example staff and volunteers at Manchester Central Food Bank have compiled a brilliant archive of translated information and application forms which they distribute to others as needed, meaning that people who speak limited or no English are able to find out more about the scheme and apply. 

  • Recommendation 7. Trial a “Community Eatwell” programme, supporting those on low incomes to improve their diets.

Our Veg-Up! project, which was piloted in Salford and Stockport this summer, exactly fits the proposed brief ‘to provide targeted healthy eating support for people on low incomes’. The project aims to break down the barriers that stand in the way of people including fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet by providing free veg-bags, community cooking classes and accessible recipes. Participants are also linked in with other local support services and learning opportunities. 68% of the households we supported with Veg-Up! cooked more meals from fresh ingredients as a result of the project. Furthermore, 73% of households reported that they had tried new fruits and vegetables throughout the project which they now continue to include in their diet. You can read more about our Veg-Up! project and its impact here. 


Read The Report Here...