Hundreds of thousands of residents across North Yorkshire are being urged to help to shape access to healthy foods and cut down on the amount of food that is wasted.
Responses from the ‘Let’s Talk Food’ survey will help to develop ideas to support people to plan healthy and affordable meals and will offer tips on how minimise the impact of food on the environment.
Choosing healthy food options is key to reducing people’s risk of a number of health conditions. According to the NHS, in the UK it is estimated that about one in every four adults and about one in every five children aged 10 to 11 are living with obesity.
The climate action non-governmental organisation, WRAP, has said that food waste costs a four-person household about £1,000 per year in food bought, but not eaten.
We are leading the way in partnership with the University of York’s ‘Fix Our Food’ team to provide healthy affordable food from sustainable sources, working with a range of businesses and community groups. The county’s 615,000 residents are being asked to contribute their views.
There are many initiatives supporting fair access to food across North Yorkshire. Local groups are already creating thriving food spaces for communities across the county and people are benefiting from social supermarkets, community fridges and food-growing projects. North Yorkshire has strong farming links that help to provide the nation’s food supplies. It is important to make sure the food produced continues to be affordable and nutritious.
The vice-chair for the Fix Our Food Commission, Jan Thornton MBE, said: “Having the right food available for our residents, and supplied by our local, sustainable food businesses is very important for our future health, economy and the environment. Transforming the food system cannot be achieved by one sector alone - it requires action, knowledge, ideas, a collaborative spirit, and motivation from us all.
“All communities across North Yorkshire, including our rural communities, must have access to healthy food choices and I am really looking forward to being part of this next step in our food transformation journey. It is vital that we keep the food conversation going and the Let’s Talk Food survey, is enabling us to achieve this.”
Executive member for Health and Adult Services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “More than 15,000 Let’s Talk surveys have been completed since 2022 as part of our ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign on a variety of topics including the council’s budget, devolution and ensuring we serve local communities.
“This new survey on food is an exciting next chapter and is part of our ongoing conversation with the public to help inform council decisions and policies about the things that matter to us.
“I feel very encouraged by the progress that’s been achieved to date and I look forward to working with partners and the community to shape the future of food for North Yorkshire.
“Transformation of the whole food system is needed to preserve our planet and maintain and improve the health of local people. The cost-of-living crisis and global events, such as climate change and regional conflicts, are impacting the amount and type of food we are able to access.
“The issues are complex – but there is positive action that we can all take now to help ensure better food for the future.”
The director of public health, Louise Wallace, said: “We want to understand people’s thoughts about eating healthily and what household food gets thrown away, so that we can look at how to reduce the amount of food we waste and make healthy food more accessible. Please do fill in our survey to tell us your experiences as part of the wider conversation about food.”
The local food plan will tie in very closely with the priorities of the North Yorkshire climate change strategy from 2023 to 2030, the joint local health and wellbeing strategy, the economic growth strategy, and the Government’s own national food strategy.
Feedback can also be provided in the following ways:
Pick up a paper copy of the survey from a local library or main local office and return it in the envelope provided.
Contact North Yorkshire Council to request a Let’s Talk survey.
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