Food and Fun wins Good Society Award at the annual Peas Please Prizes

At the Peas Please Prizes ceremony that took place in Leeds on May 18th, the Food Foundation’s executive director Anna Taylor presented awards to the seven category winners of the 2022

Singled out for special mention, and winner of the Good Society category, was the Food and Fun programme – a Welsh Government initiative that’s co-ordinated by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). Food and Fun is a school-based education programme that provides food and nutrition education, physical activity, enrichment sessions and healthy meals to children during the school summer holidays.

“We are honoured that the WLGA’s Food and Fun scheme has won The Peas Please Good Society Prize’, an award that recognises efforts in decreasing inequities in accessing vegetables for children and gives a child a healthy start in life,” said WLGA Chief Executive Chris Llewelyn.  “Research shows that eating a diet full of fruit and vegetables is essential for children’s development, and helps with their concentration, health, and all-round wellness, at home and in school.

“We are proud of the work being done by the team at the WLGA and across local government in Wales in helping every child to access a healthy diet. We are also very grateful for the partnership, hard work and dedication of the schools across Wales who deliver Food and Fun, especially after a hard couple of years due to the pandemic, and would like to thank Peas Please for this important award.”

Food Sense Wales leads on the Peas Please work in Wales and brings together farmers, retailers, and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg.

Katie Palmer, Food Sense Wales’ Programme Manager was delighted to hear that Food and Fun had received the prestigious award.  “Food and Fun is a school-based education programme funded by Welsh Government and co-ordinated by the Welsh Local Government Association,” said Katie.  “They have pledged to ensure a minimum of two portions of veg will be served in their schools, earning them a very well-deserved Peas Please Good Society Prize. Keep up the good work Food and Fun!”

Now in its fourth reporting year the Peas Please initiative has over 100 pledgers representing 92% of the retail food market who have all made pledges to promote and encourage people to eat more veg.

The seven awards all celebrate the achievements of imaginative businesses that are leading the way with schemes to drive up vegetable consumption.

Since the Peas Please campaign launch in 2017, food industry supporters have delivered an additional 636 million portions of vegetables into food systems across Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But the 2021 Peas Please progress report released at the end of last year, shows a serious deficit in veg consumption, with less than a quarter of adults eating enough vegetables a day, and almost a third of children eating less than the equivalent of one portion a day.

Research has shown that such poor diets are linked to almost 18,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

“We are delighted by the huge growth in industry support for the Peas Please project,” said Food Foundation executive director Anna Taylor. “More and more businesses are recognising they have a crucial role in tackling the poor nutrition crisis which is causing an epidemic of obesity and ill health. It has been a particular pleasure and a privilege to work with the forward-thinking organisations that have won this year’s prizes.”