20,072 Cambridgeshire children aged 4-7 years will no longer receive free school meals if the proposals to axe universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) go ahead. This includes 2121 children who live in poverty. In the Cambridge constituency alone, 2761 infants would miss out, 357 of whom are in poverty.
A new school survey carried out for the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme showed that 37% of schools in England fear that their school meal service will close if the infants’ free school meals are slashed. This rises to 47% if it is a small school with its own kitchen .
91% of schools surveyed believe that pupil health and nutrition would be impacted by the potential withdrawal of free school meals for all infants. For many children this is the only hot meal they get in the day.
We are delighted to say that we have been successful in our application to Sustainable Food Cities for a £10,000 grant to appoint a coordinator for one year. 11 such awards have been made, with money from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and we are very grateful to both Sustainable Food Cities and to Esmee Fairbairn. A condition of this money was that we raise another £10,000 in match funding and we are enormously grateful to the 8 individuals and businesses who enabled us to reach this target.
It was so great to see so many faces, old and new, at the launch for the Cambridge Sustainable Food Pledge and Award Scheme at the University Centre on the 2nd March. The afternoon was a great success, and following the Award’s successful pilot scheme last year (with funding from Cambridge City Council), we hope that this new edition of the Food Pledge and Award Scheme is as successful as the launch event.
Sometime, and sometime soon, the global food system is going to change. It has to: climate change and the depletion of natural resources dictate that ‘business as usual’ in our food supply simply cannot continue for much longer. So change is definitely coming, and we are faced with a choice of whether we are going to passively sit and wait for changes to be forced upon us, or whether we are going to embrace that change on our own terms. But here is a very positive and forward-thinking project that is meeting the challenges in the food system head-on: the Cambridge Sustainable Food Hub.
Cambridge Sustainable Food’s most ambitious project is the Cambridge Food Hub, for which we are looking for funding and a suitable venue in or around Cambridge City. On Friday 4th November there was an invitation-only showing of a new short film about the Cambridge Food Hub Project at the Cambridge University Maxwell Centre, hosted by Jacqueline Garget of Global Food Security and Duncan Catchpole of Cambridge Organic Food Company (also CSF treasurer). This event, which was attended by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, sawthe official launch of the project’s crowd-funding Campaign.
We have been asked where we get our pumpkins for the Pumpkin Festival from! Well, they are grown on a farm in Beeston, and kindly sourced for us at cost by Rob Titmus of Woodview Farm, so they are pretty local.
On July 19th, Co at no. 15 will be opening its doors and offering an exciting mixture of food, coffee, baked goods to take away, and groceries. It is placing the focus firmly on sustainable and locally sourced food, and its guiding principle is ‘conscious living’ , hence the name. Co will be emphasising the best seasonal ingredients, and aiming to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. It will be open through the day, providing breakfast, brunch, seasonal specials, and coffee. In addition, it will be selling locally brewed beer, artisan bread, and fresh ingredients. Find them at 15 High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 9HX.
Swim the Cam, CSF’s exciting new challenge aimed at raising money for the Food Hub Project, was featured in the Cambridge News on Wednesday July 6th. The event takes place on Saturday 23rd July, starting at 11am.
The swim is 3.8 km from Byron’s Pool in Grantchester to Sheep’s Green in Newnham, Cambridge. Experienced swimmers are asked to register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. CSF also needs stewards and other volunteers on the day. There will be a party at the finishing line from 12 noon, with refreshments from the foodPark collective.
Read more about Swim the Cam here and more about the Cambridge Food Hub project here. You can sponsor a swimmer or donate to the Food Hub project here.