New intergenerational scheme to grow, cook and eat together

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A new lottery-funded programme aims to connect people of all ages and tackle loneliness and unhealthy eating.

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Residents at Saville Park Care Home with children from Cherry Tree nursery in Halifax

Food for Life, a Soil Association programme, has secured £5.1 million from the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a new nationwide programme called Food for Life Get Togethers.

Nurseries, schools, hospitals and care settings can sign up to hold ‘get togethers’ and invite members of the community to attend.

Food for Life Get Togethers aim to use the power of good food to connect people of all ages through growing, cooking and eating together, while tackling both unhealthy eating and loneliness in communities. 

Food for Life will provide support and free resources for participants, in partnership with Big Lunch, the Royal Voluntary Service, Incredible Edible Networks, Generations Working Together, Linking Generations Northern Ireland and Food Sense Wales.

During the four-year programme, Food For Life will also organise three main annual events. They will coincide with The Big Lunch, Grandparent Gardening Week and Roast Dinner Day .

James Cashmore, director of Food for Life, said, ‘Good food has the power to change lives. Currently, UK families eat the most unhealthy “ultra-processed” food in Europe and a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese. Meanwhile, more than nine million people often or always feel lonely, and young and older people lack opportunities to bond.

‘Food for Life Get Togethers builds on the existing work that Food for Life and the national partners have been carrying out to increase wellbeing in communities through the power of food. Thanks to National Lottery Players this project will change the way different generations connect through cooking healthy food and learning new skills, growing food and coming together.’

Joe Ferns, UK funding director at the National Lottery Community Fund, added, ‘We’re proud to be supporting Food for Life Get Togethers to unlock the power of good food to help tackle loneliness and unhealthy eating. Thanks to National Lottery players more people across the UK will be able to come together to improve their nutrition, build stronger relationships and help their community thrive.’

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