In 2017, Food for Life received £1.25 million from the National Lottery Community Fund (previously knows as the Big Lottery Fund) to launch a pioneering project using good food to reduce isolation and improve the nutrition and wellbeing of older people.
The Food for Life Better Care project has worked directly with older people to develop programmes in three pilot areas across the UK.
The programme gives older people in care settings, hospital and in their own homes more support to eat and enjoy good food. Building on our network of 10,000 schools the programme also creates links between the generations, through shared meals, cooking and food growing activities.
The Better Care programme represents an important opportunity to demonstrate, through fully evaluated pilots in three locations, that good food is also a good investment for the UK’s challenged health and social care system, because of the vital role that good food can play both nutritionally and in tackling isolation amongst older people.
The project was piloted in Edinburgh, Calderdale & Kirklees and Leicester City & Leicestershire; working with Local Authority and NHS providers, care settings, local and national NGOs and volunteering organisations. Programmes are co-designed with older people and tailored to meet the different needs for health and social care within each region but will contain common elements including:
- Improving the food experience of residents in care settings
- Offering older people in hospital a communal dining experience and food support after a hospital stay
- Improving food support from home care visits
- Improving shared meals provision for older people
- Inviting older people into schools and young people into care homes to share food and growing and cooking activities
- Supporting volunteers working with older people to develop food skills
Find out more about what is happening as part of Better Care by watching the following films.