Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 16.32.12AFFORDABLE and healthy food for all – that’s the goal of a new pledge signed in Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough’s Food Partnership has endorsed the town’s Food Poverty Declaration which aims to highlight the causes of food poverty and support those in need.

The move is a key first stage in the Partnership’s new Food Action Plan which will be officially launched at the Town Meal on Saturday, September 12.

The Partnership was established to develop and maintain a sustainable and fair food system that promotes healthy and affordable food, looking at the food choices local people make and how those choices affect their health and well-being, the environment and the prosperity of the town.

Membership includes Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough Environment City, Teesside University, Askham Bryan College, Middlesbrough College and the Thirteen Group.

Together the Partnership is developing a Food Action Plan for the town which aims to ensure that everyone has access to healthy nutritious and affordable food.

 The Plan has six key themes: health and nutrition, sustainable food, tackling food poverty, reducing food waste, education and skills and a strong local food economy.

The themes cover 40 ambitions ranging from a new Charter for businesses, a Residents’ Food Pledge, supporting the work of food banks, cooking skills events, growing more local food, improving food purchasing networks and doing more to help people who find themselves in ‘food poverty’.

The first action the Partnership undertook was to sign the Food Poverty Declaration, part of a campaign by Sustainable Food Cities to highlight the causes of food poverty.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd, who signed the Food Poverty Declaration, said: “The aim of the Action Plan is to ensure as many people as possible have access to healthy and affordable food.

“The Declaration signals our commitment to help them make the changes need to lead healthier lifestyles, save money and make Middlesbrough a better place to live.

“This is something everyone can play a part in and I hope businesses, community groups and residents will get involved.”

For more information on Sustainable Food Cities and the Beyond the Food Bank Campaign visit www.sustainablefoodcities.org/campaigns