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Southwark wins award for leading the way to wider access to good food

14 April 2023

Southwark is one of only four London councils to win an award for their leadership across two themes: tackling the root causes of food poverty, and helping residents to buy and eat healthy food they can afford.

The council's work was independently reviewed in the latest Good Food for All Londoners report published by London Food Link. They track council action on food and are part of food and farming charity Sustain.

Southwark ranked third highest in London for their action to help residents buy and eat food that is affordable, healthy and climate-friendly. This includes:

  • being one of only four councils to ban junk food ads across their advertising network. TfL's ban on junk food ads across their network saw over 90,000 fewer cases of obesity
  • the council’s pilot with 35 local shops to stock more healthy food products. The stores now sell 22% more products that are lower in salt, sugar and fat
  • the council is working with local groups and Pembroke House to build a fairer, stronger food system rooted in the Walworth neighbourhood. Community is at the heart of their approach. It includes community kitchens and cafés, food growing, and local supply chain development.

Southwark ranked fifth highest for their action to tackle food poverty. This includes:

  • being one of the first councils to invest in free, healthy school meals for all primary school children, guaranteeing children a hot, nutritious meal at lunchtime
  • working to increase take up of Healthy Start cards so that families with children under four and pregnant people can buy more healthy food
  • delivering an action plan that focuses on the root causes of food poverty to create a fairer food system for all
  • funding the running of the Southwark Food Action Alliance, hosted by Pecan.

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We are proud to be recognised as leaders in promoting good food for all. This is especially urgent with more and more families going hungry as the cost of living soars and obesity rates increase. In Southwark, we are getting to the root of the problem while looking at all the ways we can help families access healthy food they can afford.”

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive at Sustain, said: “London’s councils have a critically important role to play in ensuring that all Londoners can eat well. Where access to healthy and sustainable food is prioritised, our city is prosperous, green and thriving. Community gardens flourish, children and older people are well fed, and money flows to local food enterprises, building economic resilience.

“The Good Food for All Londoners report shows what can be achieved when we set our hearts, minds and policies to achieving a better food system. It is now our duty to make this work for everybody, not just for those in boroughs showing leadership.”

Page last updated: 14 April 2023

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