A Summary of Our Impact - references

  • Around 9% of 4-5 year olds are obese and this percentage doubles to around 19% for 10-11 year olds. Obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas is double that of those living in the least deprived areas.[1]
  • 12[2] - 20[3]% of children entitled to free school meals don’t take up that entitlement.

  • Pupils in FFL schools eat around one third more fruit and vegetables than pupils in comparison schools, and significantly more fruit and vegetables at home (UWE, 2015[4]).
  • Pupils in FFL schools are twice as likely to eat five a day and a third less likely to eat no fruit or vegetables than pupils in comparison schools (UWE, 2015).
  • Free school meal take up increased by an average of 13 percentage points over two years in Food for Life schools (UWE, 2011[5]).
  • Creating a strong social and local economic return on investment is a top priority for local authorities who have had to make £20bn in cuts between 2010-2015[6] and are subsequently reliant on business rate retention.
  • The public sector in England spends £1.2bn every year on food and drink. Up to £600m of this is on imported produce, £400m of which could be sourced from within the UK[7].
  • There is more than £3 in social return on every £1 invested in Food for Life Catering Mark menus, with most of the benefit experienced by local businesses and local employees (nef, 2011[8]). New research focusing on Food for Life multi-setting programmes demonstrates a social return of £4.40 for every £1 invested (UWE, 2015).
  • Food for Life Catering Mark provides a significant boost to the British producers; annual spend on farm assured meat that meets British production standards in Catering Mark certified menus is £40m[9].

  • Food and farming is responsible for one fifth of UK climate impact[10]
  • If ALL primary schools in England were Food for Life schools, ONE MILLION more children would eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day [11]


[1] Public Health England, October 2015, Child Weight Data Factsheet.
[2] Department for Education, January 2015, Schools, pupils and their characteristics.
[3] Children’s Society, April 2013, Free school meals for all children in poverty
[4] Jones et al, 2015, Evaluation of the Food for Life 2013-2015: Summary and Synthesis Report
[5] Orme J et al, 2011, Food for Life Partnership Evaluation
[6] http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/7455521/NEWS#sthash.D9EmTiis.dpuf
[7] Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2014, A Plan for Public Procurement.
[8] Kersley, 2011, The Benefits of Procuring School Meals through the FFLP: An economic analysis for FFLP
[9] Based on proportion of total ingredient spend between Feb 2015 – Jan 2016.
[10] Food Climate Research Network, 2007, The World on a Plate.
[11How we have calculated this:

  • 25% of children aged 5-10 eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day. (Health Survey for England, 2014, link, 24% of boys and girls at age 5-7, 26% of boys at age 6-10, 27% of girls at age 6-10, 25.25% is the average across these age groups.)
  • There are 4. 2 million (4,233,515) pupils (aged 4-10) enrolled in statefunded and independent primary schools in England. (DfE, Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2015, Data Table 1a, link)
  • Therefore 1,068,962 primary school children eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day. (This is 25.25% of 4,233,515.)


Pupils in FFL schools are twice as likely to eat five a day and a third less likely to eat no fruit or vegetables than pupils in comparison schools.

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