Becoming a Veg City
In 2017, Brighton & Hove City Council made a joint pledge with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to take a citywide approach to helping people to eat more veg.
Becoming a pioneer Veg City is a key element of our bid to become a Gold Sustainable Food City. We are committed to reducing the inequalities that exist in the city: fewer than 50% of 8-11 year-old pupils from the most deprived areas eat their five-a-day compared with over 90% in the least deprived areas. This commitment is part of the national Peas Please initiative launched by the Food Foundation.
Key highlights from the citywide initiative include:
- Public and private sector caterers, who serve over 2.5 million meals a month, have committed to serving an extra portion of veg with each meal.
- Our Veg City Challenge brought together leading chefs to create a grab-n-go veg-packed recipe that is now being trialled in secondary schools to inspire school chefs and help teens to eat more veg. The winning recipes are being shared locally and nationally.
- Primary schools trialled raw Veg Power Pots to increase veg consumption and reduce food waste.
- Chefs from Early Years settings came together in the Community Kitchen for training and inspiration on incorporating veg into breakfasts, snacks and desserts.
- Our ongoing Healthy Start campaign continues to increase the uptake of Healthy Start vouchers, helping low-income families with young children to buy fresh or frozen veg.
- We are working with developers to update the city’s Planning Advice Note to include spaces for food growing and access to places where residents can buy veg within new developments.
- National retailer Lidl, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Brighton worked in partnership to better understand the circumstances and potential barriers facing low-income families in East Brighton with regards to eating veg. Recommendations from the research will feed into Lidl’s National Healthy Eating Strategy launching in 2020.
- Ongoing engagement with high-profile national campaigns including the Veg Power ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ campaign aimed at children and Big Dig to get more people involved in growing.
- Brighton and Hove has over 70 community gardens and outdoor projects where people come together to grow food, learn new skills and socialise with others. As part of this initiative, community gardens and allotment holders are being encouraged to grow an extra row for the Real Junk Food Project.
- Ongoing cooking classes for the public to make veg the star of the plate.
- We have produced useful web resources to promote local veg stockists and veg box schemes and provide tips for growing, cooking and shopping for veg.
- The citywide Healthy Choice Award scheme for Early Years settings now includes a requirement to provide 2-3 types of veg per day, and the Minimum Buying Standards for catering contracts are currently being updated to reflect the citywide commitment to increase consumption of veg.
- The Council’s Public Health Schools Programme now delivers school assemblies and other information around increasing veg consumption alongside the existing messaging around being Sugar Smart.