Good Food Lewisham is giving local people plenty of food for thought.
Bringing together all those passionate about food, community, health and the environment, Good Food Lewisham (GFL) is working to put healthy and sustainable food at the centre of community projects across the borough.
GFL was founded in 2016 as part of the Sustainable Food Cities project which develops local partnerships to promote vibrant food cultures. In 2019, GFL earned the bronze award from Sustainable Food Cities.
Funded by Sustainable Food Cities, Public Health Lewisham and GCDA (set up nearly 40 years ago as the Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency), GFL is now a cross-sector community network that serves as a hub for information and a point of contact for individuals and groups involved in promoting healthy eating.
Anne McBride, GFL coordinator, says: “Food plays a vital role – it can bring people together in the community, help us to celebrate different cultures and is important to our nutrition and health.
“GFL is trying to make a difference by sign-posting people to some great projects that are already running but may not be well-known – for example, the BeInspired Healthy Eating and Healthy Walks Programme in Lewisham offers free Cookery Clubs and walks across the borough.
“I am always happy to meet people, or email anyone making enquiries about setting up community meals, for example or setting up new projects with food at the centre.
“We have some amazing food-related projects across the borough. Lewisham has a fantastic “activist” mentality with many wonderful volunteers who give their time and enthusiasm.
“I hope that together, we can make a positive impact on diet-related ill health, obesity, loneliness and isolation, work to limit food waste and even try to make small improvements to limit the impact of food on climate change.
“By working together in a joined-up approach, we can begin to tackle some of these challenges locally and help create a healthier, happier and more sustainable community in Lewisham.”
The funding for Anne’s role ends in mid-May. She hopes it will be renewed. “I do hope more funding will come through so that the project continues making positive change for the people of Lewisham.
“I have seen some wonderful projects run by volunteers – check out the Catford Fridge if you can. A volunteer-led project which takes food that would otherwise go to waste and gives it out (free) on a Saturday afternoon to people who need it.”
Anne can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
To join the network, GFL asks groups and individuals to sign up to at least one of its pledges which include:
Improve affordability and accessibility of good food to improve health and wellbeing and reduce food poverty in the borough.
Endorse fair wages and working conditions to create a safe and equitable food economy.
Provide opportunities to share knowledge and skills of how to grow, buy, cook and eat good food.
Foster a strong, thriving local economy by sourcing as locally as possible and supporting new food enterprises and jobs.
Bring people together to celebrate our strong and vibrant food cultures.
Promote environmental sustainability by reducing waste, packaging, water and energy use and increasing composting and recycling.
Good Food will hold its next network meeting on Wednesday February 26 at the Catford Mews from 1.30pm until 4.30pm.The theme is “Food and the Environment” with speakers from GCDA and Lewisham environment and waste team. There will also be workshops and group discussions.
Tickets to the event are free. Book here.