Published Friday 21 November 2014 at 12:42
An action group has been formed to help boost healthy and sustainable food in Blackburn with Darwen.
It was brought together following an event at Blackburn College Scholar’s Restaurant which saw a wide range of local organisations including the Council, NHS, CCG, Third Sector Groups and National Charities, coming together to consult on a proposed Lancashire wide charter for the Sustainable Food Lancashire Network.
Blackburn with Darwen Councillors Cllr Mohammed Khan, Executive member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Regeneration, and Cllr Andy Kay, Executive Member for Resources, were also there to support the event.
The programme included talks on Sustainable Food Cities, Love Food Hate Waste, A Public Health Approach to Sustainable Food by Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Food Growing projects, Blackburn with Darwen Baby Friendly Initiative and Food Banks
The group then went on to talk about local action plans for Blackburn with Darwen to help to improve sustainable, health, affordable and accessible food across the Borough. High priories identified on the day included:
- Working with local communities and neighbourhood services to expand and develop community growing opportunities, including gardens and ‘micro plots’. Work to increase learning opportunities for local people regarding preparation and cooking of local sourced healthy food and skills to grow your own food. Exploring opportunities for community compost bins.
- Strengthening messages for early years, children and young people around Breastfeeding, using locally produced fresh food for weaning and in infancy and school education programmes for cooking and growing food.
- Developing accreditation opportunities for organisations, businesses and retailers to achieve accreditation for ‘sustainable food activity’
- Engaging with local people to empower and support them to them to get involved with sustainable food priorities. Opportunities to develop a Your Call initiative around growing food within the community
- Exploring how local organisations procure food and opportunities to source healthier, more local, sustainable food
- Working with takeaways to develop healthier options, sourcing of local produce and reducing waste
An action group to develop the action plans and start to make some real progress towards this agenda in Blackburn and Darwen will be taking place on December 9. If you are a local business, community group or individual who has an interest in food you would be more than welcome to join the action group. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01254) 585345
Councillor Mohammed Khan said:
“I’m proud that Blackburn with Darwen is playing a big part in promoting good quality, local and sustainable food. This action group will offer practical help to people and businesses across the borough.
“I hope there are ways in which many more people and organisations can become involved and help us benefit from new ideas which will help more people enjoy healthier food which is also environmentally friendly. This includes being involved in growing their own food and learning more about healthy meals.
“Keeping as much of our food local and sustainable supports our economy, particularly by encouraging small independent shops such as grocers, bakers, and butchers, and helps to improve the health of all our residents.”