Sadiq Khan announces expansion of healthy food schools project
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced that more schools in two of London’s largest boroughs will be able to take advantage of a ground-breaking gardening scheme that has already encouraged thousands of young people to grow their own food and make healthy eating choices.
Sadiq Khan announced the expansion of the London School Garden Grants initiative, which is a partnership between City Hall and Whole Foods Market’s charitable arm, the Whole Kids Foundation, during a visit to a pop-up market near the location of a new branch of the retailer opening in Englewood, Chicago a neighbourhood with high levels of poverty.
The London School Garden Grants initiative has already been working with 21 schools in the boroughs of Lambeth and Croydon, allocating funding to change the food environment in nursery, junior, primary and secondary schools and encouraging nearly 3,000 pupils to think a little more carefully about the food they eat.
The Mayor’s announcement means that from later this month more schools in these two boroughs will be able to apply for London School Garden Grants ranging from £500 to £3,000.
This funding can be spent on plants and seeds, tools, planting beds, sheds, greenhouses, water butts, composters, or even a chicken coop – as one school did last year. Pupils will be supported by parents, teachers and volunteers to establish and maintain the gardens.
The Mayor was accompanied on the visit to Englewood by the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, and met local producers and suppliers who will sell their goods and produce when the new store opens in a few weeks, as part of Whole Foods Market’s efforts to tackle deprivation in the neighbourhood.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Both the work done with the Whole Kids Foundation in London and the opening of this store in Englewood shows how producing and selling food can be a great way to tackle social issues and open up new opportunities for people from all backgrounds.
“The work done through the School Garden Grants programme has already given thousands of children more skills and confidence, which will open up wider opportunities later in life. I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can achieve in partnership with Whole Foods Market in the future.”
Whole Food Markets’ co-CEO, Walter Robb, said: “We are delighted to continue offering School Garden Grants to the Flagship Boroughs in 2017. Inspiring children to explore where their food comes from is an important step towards improving children’s nutrition and we have seen first-hand that helping school children get growing is a powerful and positive catalyst for change”
Notes to editors
Whole Foods Englewood
- The Whole Foods Market in Englewood – the chain’s first store in the neighbourhood – is due to open in the next few weeks.
- During the visit, Mayors Sadiq Khan and Rahm Emanuel visited local suppliers who will sell their produce at the store at a pop-up market in the new store’s car park.
- The community work taking place through the Englewood branch of Whole Foods Market follows similar projects in neighbourhoods in Detroit and New Orleans.
London School Garden Grants
- Year one of the School Garden Grants ran in two of London Food Flagship Boroughs – Lambeth and Croydon – which receive funding from the Mayor of London and Department for Education to change the food environment across the borough, particularly in schools.
- In 2015/16, Whole Kids Foundation funded the £50,000 pilot scheme in its entirety (£42,000 for school grants; £5,000 for GLA project management costs; £3,000 to produce a short film about the pilot).
- A total of 74 applications were made – 37 in each borough – before the 21 successful schools were chosen, including nursery, junior, primary, secondary and special needs schools and academies.
- Since October 2015, 2,765 children, 204 teachers, 159 parents and 50 volunteers have been involved in the project.
- The second year of the School Garden Grants scheme will be formally launched at a celebration event at City Hall later this month.
- Grants will once again range from £500 to £3,000. Schools from across the two boroughs will be invited to apply once the scheme is formally launched.
- For more information on the scheme, visit: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/business-and-economy/food/food-flagships/flagship-school-garden-grants.