NEW EXPERIMENTAL FOOD PROJECTS IN TOWER HAMLETS

Just FACT Press Release

We’re excited to share news about ten experimental food projects coming to the London borough of Tower Hamlets in 2024.

These projects are part of a community-led food revolution taking place in the borough. 

Residents, community workers, activists, health practitioners, growers and farmers are coming together to realise an environmentally sustainable and socially just food system in Tower Hamlets.

You can read the full press release here. If you are interested in helping us to tell the story of this movement, please get in touch with bethan @wen.org.uk 

 

Ensuring every resident has enough food

Tower Hamlets is making serious efforts to make sure every resident has enough food. From the local authority’s flagship free school meals to huge efforts from local residents to run food banks. Yet while wealthier residents can access organic, local food that is good for the planet, many less well-off residents are priced out, dealing with day-to-day food insecurity, and lack of growing spaces, with little opportunity to have a say in local decision-making.   

“Ensuring every resident has enough healthy food to eat is one of the most important goals of the council. It’s the reason that we rolled out free school meals across the borough. We know there is always more to do, which is why we want to support this innovative project that aims to bring affordable, locally-grown food to residents. 

A truly circular local food system also means that in addition to growing food locally and reducing food waste as much as possible, food scraps will be composted to create nutrient-rich soil which can be used to grow more food or support greening efforts in the borough. We want a more sustainable, healthier local food system that can benefit all residents in Tower Hamlets, and we know that achieving this would also reduce carbon emissions, so we are looking forward to supporting this work wherever possible.” – The Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman

Just FACT Grantee

Creating a fairer, healthier and more sustainable local food system in Tower Hamlets

In 2021, the Just FACT programme secured over £2 million of funding from the Lottery’s Climate Action Fund to tackle this unfairness and help to create a fairer, healthier and more sustainable local food system in Tower Hamlets.  Now, 26 partners and 30 local residents known as ‘Blueprint Architects’ are working together for a community-led food revolution. 

Experimenting for a better future 

 A unique aspect of the Just FACT programme is that local residents and community organisations decide which projects receive grant money. Last year, successful projects included fermentation workshops with Oitij-jo, and funding for Stepney City Farm to employ a second full-time Food Grower to improve break-even points with sales.  

In autumn 2023, we carried out a participatory grant making process to decide which Tower Hamlets projects should receive Action Learning Grants.   

 We are delighted to announce that a further 10 projects will be joining the Just FACT programme. 

 

Just FACT Grantee

What needs to change? 

Local residents who are part of the Blueprint Architects group have identified a number of proposals to create a healthy food system, with some key asks for the local council to: 

  • Commit to community wealth building by redistributing resources from the local authority to community-led projects, particularly access to green and food-growing spaces 
  • Transparency and community involvement throughout the process of developing local policies to ensure that policies reflect the lived experiences of Tower Hamlets residents 
  • Integrate food policy into wider cross-sector policy 
  • Funding for local initiatives that are working towards building a just and sustainable food system in Tower Hamlets (including those working on food growing, food waste etc.) 

 

Over the next 2 years the Just FACT partnership will be gathering learning from the food projects, and working together to improve the local food system. 

Read the full press release 

 

Contact :

Bethan Mobey 

Programme Manager, Just FACT 

Bethan @wen.org.uk 

 

 

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