Croydon has been ranked second among the top London councils for helping to lift families out of food poverty.
The borough jumped from eighth place last year in the annual Beyond The Food Bank league table – run by food charity Sustain to measure how councils help families to easily access enough healthy food, without anxiety.
Croydon scored well for being awarded more than £600,000 to tackle holiday hunger, for supporting breastfeeding and weaning parents and efforts to boost the number of families claiming Healthy Start vouchers to purchase milk, fruit and veg.
The borough is a London Living Wage employer and targeted work to eliminate food poverty was commended including the Food Stop, a community-led alliance helping residents to better manage their finances and offering them low-cost food.
The Beyond The Food Bank report was published this week alongside its sibling publication, Good Food for London, which shows that many London councils have increased the number of activities undertaken to address food poverty.
Croydon was recognised here for having seven successful food flagship schools which have improved school meals and are teaching children about food growing and cooking with fresh produce.
The borough is also part of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s SUGAR SMART campaign and has a growing number of local food businesses signed up to the council’s Eat Well Croydon scheme, increasing their healthy offer for customers.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, received the award for Croydon at City Hall. She said: “We are really pleased to be one of the top London councils for helping to lift families out of food poverty. However, in this day and age in a city like London, we should not have to be doing this work which shows that for too many, the welfare system isn’t working.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care, said: “We are doing our best at Croydon Council to support families to deal with the many challenges arising from the national economic climate, such as food poverty and holiday hunger, which can have a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing. We also now want to see more far reaching measures that better support people to be healthier, like restricting fast food advertising, as obesity remains a main cause of early death.”