Our Statement on Part One of the National Food Strategy
Everyone involved in Bite Back 2030 wants a food system that works for all young people, no matter where they live. We need affordable, accessible, healthy food options that make us more resilient, and ready for whatever challenges life throws at us.
According to our recent Hungry for Change report, almost half of young people are now more aware of the injustices that exist in the food system. We fully support Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy and its focus on the health and wellbeing of future generations.
We welcome the recommendation to extend free school meal provision to include every child up to the age of 16 from a household where the parent or guardian receives Universal Credit (or equivalent benefits). This is a critical time for many living below the poverty line who don’t have access to a decent, hot meal. In the words of our Youth Board member Dev, Covid-19 “has already left the most vulnerable, including those on free school meals, more disadvantaged than their more affluent peers. Allowing them to have their basic right of food could help narrow classroom inequality and could prove more crucial than ever before.”
Our young people have also been campaigning for a free school meal solution that works during the holidays, along with Marcus Rashford. Christina’s petition now has over 290,000 signatures! We’re pleased to see the recommendation to extend provision over the summer holidays, but we would go further. We need a solution that works 365 days a year.
We are in full agreement with the need to address misleading information on food and drink packaging. So many of you got behind our #DontHideWhatsInside campaign which called on companies to tell the truth about what’s in their products. We are pleased Boris Johnson has announced the launch of a consultation on food labels.
Finally, we hope any trade deal will build on, not undermine the progress we are making in putting the health of young people at the front and centre of our food system. We do not want to see our high streets, schools and hospitals flooded with unhealthy options, but instead hope trade changes will be used to improve the flow of healthy options.