The Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, has just published a study showing that the price of healthy food has risen faster than the price of unhealthy food between 2002 and 2012. They say “the absolute increase was significantly more for healthy foods – a total average increase of £1.84 oer 1000 kcal for more healthy food across the decade, compared to £0.73 for less healthy food.” Dr Pablo Monsivais, senior lecturer at the Centre, was on Channel Four news last night (7th October) to speak about this, showing that health inequalities are widening. We already know that food poverty is on the increase, including in affluent Cambridge, where there are now six Cambridge City Food Bank centres. 2,450 people were fed during 2012, double the number in 2011.
The national Sustainable Food Cities Network, of which Cambridge Sustainable Food is a member, includes Food Poverty as one of its six key issues, and one of the actions they recommend to combat this is having local councils campaign for local employers to pay the Living Wage. Cambridge City Council recently appointed an officer to promote this.
Cambridge Sustainable Food will be working with various groups, including council officers, to alleviate food poverty during the coming year.