How Our Movement Created Impact in 2021
2021 has been a challenging year for all of us — but despite this, we are going out with a bang! We’ve achieved some incredible wins for child health and so much of it is down to you, so we want to say “thank you” for all your support. Now, let’s celebrate what’s been achieved
Dev Pushed the Government to End Junk Food Advertising Online — And Won!
This year we told the Prime Minister: we’ve #AdEnough of being bombarded with 15 billion junk food ads every year! Matt Hancock — former Secretary of State for Health — responded directly to our campaign, and invited Dev to meet with Jo Churchill, the Public Health Minister!
4,417 of you signed our letter to the Prime Minister, and we released a powerful new film to tell him: Boris, Keep Your Promise!
Our hard work paid off! In May, the Government pledged to end junk food advertising online! This is now being debated in UK Parliament before being written into law. We’ll keep you updated on what happens next and how you can continue to support the campaign.
Kicking Junk Food Sponsorship Out Of Sports
This year, a new cricket tournament launched — with a goal of getting young people involved in the sport. But The Hundred’s choice of headline sponsor — KP Snacks — saw their players running around the pitch dressed as giant crisp packets! We think unhealthy food and drink companies using sports to market their products is bonkers. 2,426 of you agreed, signing our petition demanding they #PacketIn and introduce a healthier sponsor in 2022.
Thanks to your support Jacob and Christina were able to secure a meeting with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) — and whilst they didn’t agree to drop the KP Snacks sponsorship, they did promise to include us in discussions to prioritise child health in future sponsorship deals. More about making our heroes healthy coming in 2022!
Don’t Hide What’s Inside — Telling Big Food Businesses To Stop Misleading Us
In October we launched our Mascots Anonymous video, viewed more than 1 million times, closely followed by our #DontHideWhatsInside report. We exposed how big food businesses are manipulating young people into believing their products are healthy, when in reality many of them would get a red traffic light label for being high in salt, sugar or fat. Over 1,200 of you sent emails to Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Müller asking them to change. So far only one of them has engaged with us — Coca-Cola’s Innocent Drinks agreed to meet with us in early 2022 to work collaboratively on this issue and pave a way forward.
Shining A Spotlight On The Quality Of School Food — Spill The Beans
We spent this summer hearing from young people about what their school food experience can really be like — releasing our findings in the #SpillTheBeans report. It details how school food is a total postcode lottery, with healthier options too often pushed into the background. Jacob, Harrison and Amy shared the insights from the report and their own stories with MPs and government officials, and Anisah appeared on Channel 4 News with Jamie Oliver! In response, Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education,agreed to a meeting! In 2022, our eyes will be on the Government: we want to see a promise to monitor and enforce the school food standards!
Jamie, thank you – this is so important – schools and their caterers must follow the School Food Standards to ensure children can access healthy, nutritious meals.— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) November 15, 2021
Keen to catch-up and will ask my team to get in touch to arrange a meeting. https://t.co/3xH0xfVXxG
Campaigning For All Children To Have Access To A Healthy Nutritious School Meal
In 2020 Christina started a petition, signed by over 430,000 of you, asking the government to extend free school meals over the holidays. We have had some major wins but the fight is not over. This year Christina asked you to support her in asking your MP to pledge to #EndChildFoodPoverty and almost 2,000 of you stood by her — resulting in the UK Government pledging £200 million per year towards the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. We will continue our work until every child has access to a nutritious, affordable meal at school.
34 New Youth Campaigners Joined Us in London and Birmingham!
In June we asked young people from London and Birmingham to join our first ever Local Youth Boards. We are incredibly proud to welcome our 34 new campaigners, from Comfort, age 17, who has seen the effects of junk food advertising firsthand, to Yumna, age 17, who is keen to ensure young people’s voices are heard. They are currently planning their local campaigns to kick junk food advertising out of their cities, kicking off in 2022.
Students Leading The Conversation On School Food — School Food Champions
'We have come to realise that the quality of food we are being served is unhealthy. Not just for us but all the other schools across the UK in the Bite Back team. We, as a whole, can help put a stop to this.' — School Food Champion
2021 was the launch of School Food Champions! Almost 500 students from 50 schools across the UK are learning why healthy options are so important as well as how to engage their friends, teachers, and caterers to create change. We’re going bigger and better next year — click here if you’re interested in joining us!
Making Change in Our Local Areas — Community Food Champions
We partnered with local leaders in Brixton and Hackney to recruit our first 30 Community Food Champions! The Shoreditch Trust took over a local restaurant for a week to cook climate friendly food, and Loughborough Community Centre threw an event to engage young people in activities around healthy eating. We’ll be on the hunt for more partners in 2022 — drop us an email if you know of a youth group who would like to take part.
We Joined Jamie Oliver for Our Annual Youth Summit!
On 7 October we held our Youth Summit, throwing a Tortoise ‘ThinkIn’ between Christina Adane, Co-Chair of our National Youth Board, Jamie Oliver and Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer Tesco — as well as some amazing spoken word performances by Zoe, Harrison, Alex and Christina from our National Youth Board. The Government’s Chief Nutritionist, the General Managers of KFC and Deliveroo and BBC’s Dr Chris van Tulleken were amongst the crowd, and we hope we made a big impression!
Welcome To Our 6 New National Youth Board Members!
This year we also welcomed six amazing new National Board members from all over the country. They are passionate about free school meals, using digital tools to support healthy food options, telling food industries #DontHideWhatsInside and much more. Our new members represent our values perfectly and we cannot wait to see them unleash their potential next year.
We’ve Been Collecting Awards This Year!
We never cease to be amazed by the power and passion of our people and we are not the only ones impressed! We were totally honoured to be the recipient of a host of awards and recognitions this year:
- Christina, Co-Chair of our National Youth Board, received a Diana Legacy Award and was one of three finalists for the Children’s Peace Prize.
- Tasha, our original Co-Chair and now a Trustee, was awarded the No. 1 spot in the 2021-22 edition of Future Leaders Magazine, which profiles 100 of the UK’s most outstanding African and African Caribbean students and new graduates.
- The #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign — spearheaded by the Food Foundation and supported by our young people — received the top prize in the Big Impact category at the 2021 Third Sector Excellence Awards.
Bite Back In The Media
Looking Forward To 2022
We have very ambitious plans for 2022 and we can’t wait to get started — but we’ll need your help. Make sure to follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter to always stay on top of our latest campaigns. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!