The Food for Life Partnership (FFLP) has created a network of over 4,500 schools across England committed to transforming their food culture. It supports them to provide fresh, well-sourced and nutritious meals and improve their overall lunchtime experience. It helps children, adults and teachers understand the importance of good nutrition and where their food comes from through practical cooking, growing activities and farm visits.

The initiative is led by the Soil Association, bringing together the practical expertise of the Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust. It is free for schools in England to enrol and provides a wealth of resources to support their progress through the award framework.

Founded in 2007, the programme was developed with five years of BIG Lottery funding. It is now being commissioned by local authorities and public health teams around England due to its proven positive impact on children’s health and wellbeing.

The programme and its on-going development are managed by a grant-funded central team based in Bristol. As of April 2013, the Daylesford Foundation is providing the funding to support this team and by doing so, is helping to ensure the future of this vital project.

Food for Life Partnership activities put into action the main aim of the Daylesford Foundation, which is to raise awareness of the need for healthy living, healthy food and healthy soil. Key findings from the independent evaluation of the programme’s activities demonstrate this:

• The number of children eating five or more portions of fruit and veg portions a day increased by 28% in FFLP primary schools.

• 45% of parents report eating more vegetables as a result of the FFLP programme.

• For every £1 invested in Food for Life menus, the social, economic and environmental return on investment for the local authority is £3.

• Free school meal take-up increased by an average of 13% points in FFLP primary schools and 20% in FFLP secondary schools.

• Twice as many primary schools received an Outstanding Ofsted rating after working with the Food for Life Partnership.