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School Food Champions

Empowering pupils to put good food at the heart of a healthy, high performing school community
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Every child deserves access to healthy, nutritious food at school — but right now, that's not the case. School Food Champions was created to change this! 

We launched in September 2021 and right now, young people from 50 schools across the country are taking part in this brand new programme to help achieve a world where all young people have the opportunity to be healthy, no matter where they live. 

And it’s not class-as-usual! School Food Champions sees students from Key Stage 3 (11-14 year olds) work in teams of 15, supported by a lead teacher, to lead social action projects to improve the food provision and culture in their schools and their local communities. It is a fully funded extracurricular programme. Bite Back 2030 provides inspiration, guidance, support and training, connecting teams across the country. We link schools up with our amazing youth leaders, showcase great examples of school food and of young people leading change in their schools and their communities.

"
I joined as I really wanted to make a difference in our school and for the future generations joining us in the years to come
"
A School Food Champion at St Joseph's RC School, Horwich

School Food Champions with their freshly made food

How Does It Work?

School Food Champions is a weekly programme run at lunchtime, as an after school club or as an enrichment activity. We provide all the inspiration and resources needed to help your school bring school food into the spotlight. 

In each school, a lead teacher recruits a team of 10 to 15 pupils in Years 7 to 9 who are keen to improve their school food. We train these teachers, and they deliver our sessions for their teams. Typical topics include:

  • What does a great school food culture look like? 
  • What is youth social action? 
  • How do we design a great campaign? 
  • What do we need to know about the food system and what is food inequality? 
  • How do we build a great team and acquire leadership skills to make our voices heard?

The teams work with their lead teacher, school leaders, caterers and governors to review the food culture in their school. Together they choose and lead two social action projects:

  • Project #1 will improve specific issues of the food environment in your school.
  • Project #2 will make a difference either in your school or your local community.

The teams will be given a £100 budget for materials and resources.

Benefits For Pupils

  • The chance to lead transformational change across the school community.
  • Be part of a fun and rewarding programme outside the traditional curriculum. 
  • The opportunity to join the Bite Back movement and make new friends.
  • Build campaigning, leadership and public speaking skills.

Benefits For Teachers & Schools

  • Drive social action through pupil voice on issues that matter to young people and affect the whole school community. 
  • Join a community of 150 schools sharing best practice on school food issues

School Food Champions with certificates

How Do I Get Involved?

Thanks to generous funding by the #iWill Fund* and Tesco, School Food Champions is fully funded for schools. Participating schools receive £700 (£600 as a TLR3 for your lead teacher and £100 for materials for pupils to deliver their social action projects). Schools will also receive a year of Food For Life awards package (normally £199) for free.

Applications are now closed for the current cohort of School Food Champions.

Who are we looking for?

We have 100 fully funded places available for cohort two of School Food Champions. Applications are open across England, but in the event of receiving more applications than we can fund, and in order to have the greatest potential impact within the communities most impacted by health inequalities, we will prioritise applications from schools which meet the following criteria:

  1. In locations where Bite Back 2030 is building our regional presence and where we have or intend to establish local youth boards in the coming years - London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Sheffield, Peterborough, Sunderland/Newcastle, Hull, Southampton.

  2. Demographic criteria — above national average % of pupils receiving free school meals, areas with high obesity rates, and a focus on the 20 local authority districts with the highest proportion of neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10 percent of neighbourhoods nationally on the IMD 2019.

We are sadly unable to work with independent schools.

 

Do you have any questions? For more information or to arrange a call to discuss how School Food Champions might work in your school, please contact schoolfoodchampions@biteback2030.com 

*The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high-quality social action opportunities.

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"
As a teacher I joined Bite Back to allow a group of young children to come together and make positive changes in our school environment. Changes that I hope will continue for years to come. By facilitating this group I provide the students with a safe space so they feel they can discuss important topics that fall under the Bite Back remit. I truly believe that when people come together with like minds great things can happen!
"
Natalie Hancock, teacher facilitating School Food Champions at George Abbot School, Guildford

Keep up!

Join our movement! We’ll be in touch with opportunities to raise your voice to get the big players in business and government to act for every young person’s right to health.

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