A new Food Charter has been launched to encourage councils, community groups and businesses to work together and help bring healthy, tasty and affordable food to everyone in Nottinghamshire – no matter where they live.
The pandemic has exacerbated existing food insecurity and increased the risk of obesity and diet-related disease in the longer term. Findings from the Government’s National Child Measurement Programme 2020/21 show that for England as a whole, obesity has increased from 9.9% to 14.4% in reception age children (from 2019/20) and from 21% to 25.5% in year 6 children. The national figures show that children living in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to be obese than those living in the least deprived areas.
The new charter, which was signed off by the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board in February, sets out a shared vision and priorities to improve the local food system over the next four years, focusing on social, environmental and economic outcomes.
Some of the ambitions included as part of the Food Charter are to:
- Improve access to healthy and sustainable food for vulnerable groups, such as through FOOD clubs at community venues
- Increase the opportunities for community food growing schemes
- Increase the number of Healthier Option Takeaways in Nottinghamshire
- Reduce food waste in schools, hospitals and other public sector catering
- Grow more food in the county to encourage and enhance biodiversity.
Councillor John Doddy, Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We need radical change to help people to live healthy and independent lives, particularly in some of the most deprived areas of Nottinghamshire.
“This Food Charter was developed following consultation with residents and stakeholders and I am pleased that local authorities and health partners have endorsed it today. We must all now work together, with businesses, the community sector and other organisations, to bring the charter to life and ensure that tasty, healthy and affordable food is available for all our communities.”
Nottinghamshire County Council also passed a motion on 20th January 2022 to see nutrition developed as a key part of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022 – 2026. The motion also set out to make Nottinghamshire a ‘healthy food sustainable shire’ and ensure that these principles are considered and reflected in the development of the Council Plan.