Sheffield City Council gives food for thought

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Sheffield City Council and NHS Sheffield are putting together the perfect recipe for healthy and sustainable food in the city - and they want your input!

The Sheffield Food Plan consultation is underway looking at seven key areas relating to food in the city and the draft plan is now available for comments and consultation.

Councillor Steve Ayris, Cabinet Member for Healthy and Independent Living, said: “Food has a massive impact on many aspects of all our lives, and we are calling on everyone in the city to get involved with this important work. The Sheffield Food Plan aims to co-ordinate food work in the city to ensure all people in Sheffield have access to healthy food

“We also want to equip Sheffielders with the skills they need to cook and eat good food, as well as considering the wider positive environmental and economic impacts of Sheffield’s food.”

Food contributes approximately £1 billion a year to the Sheffield economy, and it is estimated that if people’s diets in the UK followed nutritional guidelines, 70,000 deaths could be avoided a year. Around 18 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to food production and consumption and the UK’s food and drink economy employs 3.7 million people.

The seven areas covered by the plan are:

Local Food - To make sure that food eaten in Sheffield is sourced as locally as possible.

Cooking and Culture - To make sure all Sheffield residents can plan and cook healthy meals.

Community Food Growing - To make community food growing activities an important part of Sheffield’s communities.

Access to Healthy Food - To make sure Sheffield residents are able to conveniently access, buy and consume healthy food.

Public Sector Catering - To make sure food bought and sold by the public sector (the Council, NHS etc) is good for people’s health, the environment and the economy.

Food businesses - To make sure Sheffield is a regional centre for quality, safe food that it is home to profitable food retail and manufacturing.

Lifestages – Sheffield people are enabled and supported to make informed choices about their health through improved food, diet and nutrition throughout their lives.

The Sheffield Food Plan is funded by Sheffield’s city-wide, £10million obesity prevention programme, Sheffield Let’s Change4Life ,which includes membership from NHS Sheffield, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sheffield’s voluntary community.

Individuals and organisations are being invited to take part in the consultation. The draft plan and the online consultation form can be viewed at www.sheffieldfirst.org.uk/foodplan Contributions can also be made to jennifer.rickard@sheffield.gov.uk

The period for consultation ends on 25 February 2011.