New UK-wide £5m project to use “good food” to change lives in communities across Wales

A new £5.1m UK project to tackle loneliness and improve health using “good food” will launch in Wales in association with the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme and Food Sense Wales. The project, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, will use the power of good food to connect people of all ages through growing, cooking and eating together.

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Sadly, around 200,000 older people go over a month without chatting to a friend or family member and almost half of older people in care homes consider their depression ‘a normal part of ageing’. With Get Togethers, we will work with social hubs at the centre of communities.  Friendships will have a space to thrive through healthier meals and improved wellbeing.

Today Food for Life “Get Togethers” announced it is to join forces with six partners including food charity Food Sense Wales. The programme will work in some of Wales’ most disadvantaged and ethnically diverse areas, launching in Cardiff and moving North to the South Wales Valleys and beyond.  It also revealed its visual identity, with a new logo, today.

James Cashmore, Director of Food for Life, said; “Good food has the power to change lives. Currently, UK families eat the most unhealthy “ultra-processed” food in Europe and a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese. Meanwhile, more than nine million people often or always feel lonely, and young and older people lack opportunities to bond.

“Get Togethers builds on the existing work that Food for Life and the national partners have been carrying out to increase wellbeing in communities through the power of food. Thanks to National Lottery Players this project will change the way different generations connect through cooking healthy food and learning new skills, growing food and coming together.

Rooted in partnerships with groups of schools, early years providers and organisations supporting older people, Get Togethers will give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to come together.

Katie Palmer, Programme Manager for Food Sense Wales said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Food for Life to use the power of food to drive community resilience in Wales. By linking with our colleagues across health boards, councils, schools, community groups, and the Welsh Local Government Association as well as key programmes such as the School Holiday Enrichment Programme and Healthy Schools, we hope to inspire a love of good food across generations.”

During the four-year programme, there will be three main annual events organised by Food for Life to support Wales’ activity. We know that having the chance to get together, share a fresh, healthy meal and have a chat can change people’s day to day lives. Events will inspire healthy relationships between people, their food and one another. Communities will be able to grow, cook and eat together again.

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Food for Life Get Togethers to unlock the power of good food to help tackle loneliness and unhealthy eating. Thanks to National Lottery players more people across the UK will be able to come together to improve their nutrition, build stronger relationships and help their community thrive.

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