We were pleased to welcome Henry Dimbleby, who is leading the government’s new National Food Strategy, to our centre in the Venerable Bede church hall, this month (February).
Henry, the son of the broadcaster and television personality David Dimbleby, has the task of producing a new food framework for England outside the EU. He is co-founder of the Leon food chain in London, and then became director of London Union, which runs some of the capital’s most successful street food markets. He also co-authored the school food plan in 2013, which set out to bring healthier eating in schools.
As part of an extremely broad agenda, Henry has visited a series of food banks and engaged with staff and clients; in one case, sat behind a desk to hear the varied stories of clients as they presented food vouchers. It clearly proved a revealing, and probably, sobering experience.
He says the strategy team have been asked (by Michael Gove, the former environment and food minister) to set out what needs to be done, across all government departments and in the country more broadly, to … “build a robust food system providing good, affordable food to everyone.”
He spent the best part of an hour at the Bede centre talking to staff, volunteers and clients. He promised that a section on foodbanks will appear in his final report to the government – and an interim report is due this spring.