Mayor helps tackle child obesity with £42,000 for schools to grow food

19 February 2016


  • 21 Lambeth and Croydon schools share £42,000 School Garden Grant
  • Mayor has partnered with Whole Kids Foundation to pilot the programme in the UK


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, today confirmed that 21 schools will share a £42,000 funding pot, allowing them to grow their own food as part of his ongoing drive to tackle obesity in the capital and get young Londoners eating more healthily.


21 schools in Lambeth and Croydon will receive grants ranging between £300 and £3,000 from the School Garden Grants scheme to create or improve edible gardens, which will be used to educate children about the food they eat and help them to lead healthier lives.


Lambeth and Croydon were both selected by the Mayor to be Food Flagship Boroughs last year, working to tackle child obesity through better diets and food education. In a UK first, the boroughs are making changes to the way food is served in schools, hospitals, and - working with major supermarkets and other retailers - on the high street. The aim is to show that joined up thinking can improve health and academic attainment of pupils and also of adults in the local communities they serve. 


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “I am delighted to be working with Whole Kids Foundation as we introduce this innovative scheme to Croydon and Lambeth – two boroughs that are doing great work to improve diets and attitudes to food.”


“School Garden Grants are a great way to harness the enthusiasm of teachers, children and parents toward eating more fruit, vegetables and quality, affordable food. Eating well helps not only to avoid health problems now and in the future, but has been shown to be a key ingredient to classroom success.”


Projects in Lambeth include:

  • Sudbourne School will receive £2,600 to introduce chickens to their existing school garden. Pupils and parents will be supported by Father Nature, a social enterprise promoting children’s learning through nature and helping young fathers gain gardening skills, build confidence and find employment. Together, they will prepare the site and the eggs will be used in cooking classes and any surplus sold to the school community.
  • Julian’s Primary School will receive £1,170 to create a small shop next to the garden where children can sell produce and products they have grown and made. Children will pick and prepare seasonal produce, make preserves, create a school recipe book, collect and package seeds and grow plants in pots to sell.


Projects in Croydon include:

  • St Giles will receive £3,000 to help build purpose built, wheelchair accessible beds, an outdoor shelter for the pupils, and specialist tools. St Giles is a special school for pupils with physical disabilities, complex medical needs and complex speech and language needs.  This will be the first ever ‘Edible Playground’ in a special school, with a significant amount of additional funding raised by Trees for Cities
  • Shirley High School will receive £799 and is the only secondary school in Croydon that will receive a School Garden Grant. .The garden will be primarily tended by Food Technology students along with disengaged students. The grant will pay for raised beds, basic tools and equipment along with a small storage shed.


The Mayor has teamed up with Whole Kids Foundation to deliver the School Garden Grants scheme. Whole Kids Foundation – the charitable arm of Whole Foods Market – has run the scheme in the US and Canada for five years, with impressive results. Their work there has funded 3,014 school gardens, trained 8,438 teachers and served 3,796,922 students. By encouraging children to plant, nurture, harvest, cook and eat food they have grown themselves, the pilot scheme in London will help them to foster a love of good food and increase understanding of how diet impacts on health.


Benjamin Woodgate from Whole Kids Foundation said: “The more kids know and feel connected to their food, the more curious they become about how things grow or taste, and the more willing they are to try new foods. This is why we believe in edible garden learning spaces.”


For more information on School Garden Grants please visit

Notes to editors

The London Food Flagship programme has established two Food Flagship boroughs: Croydon and Lambeth. Using the School Food Plan as a critical foundation, the Flagships will demonstrate the transformational impact on health and attainment achievable through improving food across the whole environment, using schools as a catalyst to drive this change. While there will only be two Flagships, the initiative is intended to impact all of London. By investing to transform the food system in two concentrated areas, the benefits will be learnt and shared across the whole city and beyond.


Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to helping kids eat better—and enjoy it! Whole Kids Foundation is a non-profit – (UK charity number pending) founded by Whole Foods Market and guided by the same values, principles, expertise and standards for quality ingredients, food production methods and nutrition.


The London Food Flagship programme is one of a number of initiatives supported by the Mayor aimed at tackling obesity amongst school children. They include the multi-million pound Sports Legacy programme to get young people and the wider population involved in physical activity; the Healthy Schools London awards, which supports and recognises school achievements in pupil health and wellbeing; and the Takeaways Tookit, which the different ways that local authorities can tackle the impact of fast food on Londoners' health, for example by limiting the number of fast food outlets near schools.

For more information go to


Summary of projects to receive funding:



Sudbourne School - £2,600

Julian’s Primary School - £1,170

Effra Early Years Centre - £2,000

Maytree Nursery School and Children’s Centre - £2,438

Stockwell Primary School and Children’s Centre - £3,000

Archbishop Sumner Primary School - £675

St Stephen’s C of E Primary School - £2,766

Oasis Academy Southbank - £2,550

Livity School - £500

St John’s Angell Town C of E Primary School - £3,000



St Giles - £3,000

Tunstall Nursery School and Children's Centre - £1,625

Howard Primary School - £2,745

Park Hill Junior School - £3,000

Beaumont Primary School - £780

Shirley High School - £799

New Valley Primary School - £2,404.50

Priory School - £2,500

Elmwood Junior School - £2,500

Rowdown Primary School - £1,179

Chaffinch Brook - £786

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