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Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy

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Ensuring food is available and affordable to all

It's our profound belief that every single person in Scotland should be able to access healthy, affordable and sustainable food.

We know poverty impacts on people's health and ability to buy healthy sustainable food. We are fighting poverty and deprivation as hard as we can, wherever we can.

Our three frameworks - Poverty and Income Inequality, Health Inequalities and the Early Years sets out our approach to tackle the long-standing drivers of deprivation in Scotland.

They explain how we've made the early years a national priority, and how we're focusing support and investment on deprived and vulnerable children and their families.

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Source: Community Food and Health Scotland

Social enterprise plays a vital role

We and our partners are proud to support Social Enterprises through our Enterprising Third Sector Action Plan and a range of business development support and financial investment. Recently we have helped nine food and drink social enterprises to develop their business with investment of £0.5 million.

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Source: Aberdeen Foyer

Foyer Restaurant & Gallery: A highly successful social enterprise

The Foyer Restaurant & Gallery is a contemporary, professional restaurant and art gallery in Aberdeen serving seasonal Scottish menus prepared with a modern light, vibrant touch.

Acknowledged as one of the best restaurants in Aberdeen, profit generated by the business supports the work of Aberdeen Foyer with vulnerable and disadvantaged people alleviating and preventing youth homelessness, helping people in the wider community into learning, training, employment and independent living.

Critical to Foyer's work is raising awareness, improving practical cooking skills, budgeting, improving understanding and access to healthy food choices, providing information, support and advice. 'Sorted in the Kitchen' is a cooking guide devised by the health team and Foyer tenants, covering menus, shopping lists and recipes for cooking healthy, appetising meals on a budget of £15 a week. This is now on sale and profits support Foyer Health.

"Many young people we work with are malnourished. Poor diet and limited access to healthy food is partly due to low income but also to lack of ability, confidence and motivation. Cooking sessions using 'Sorted in the Kitchen' and completing our Healthy Eating Workbook encourages young people to make simple and realistic changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Profits from our fabulous restaurant support this vital work."

Lisa Duthie, Health Team Manager, Aberdeen Foyer

Private sector partners

Our partnership with the private sector is important to our aims.

Throughout Scotland, 750 members of the Scottish Grocers Federation Healthyliving Programme are working to offer fresh produce and healthier food choices via local convenience stores and community food initiatives - especially in low-income areas. Latest figures show customers at these stores are eating around 25% more fruit and vegetables than they used to.

"We appointed a 'produce champion', i.e. someone that regularly ensured that the fruit and vegetables were topped up and looking at their best. We increased our sales by 176%."

"We sited a new 'stand alone' chilled unit at the front of the store and we increased our sales of fruit and vegetables by 82%."

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Source: Scottish Grocers' Federation

Helping the elderly

With our partners we are also helping the elderly living in the community to access affordable healthy food through our funding to support the expansion of the "Food Train" to West Lothian.

The Food Train

The Food Train started rolling in Dumfries & Galloway in 1995. The founders realised that a regular delivery of groceries would help the elderly stay independent and welcome social contact and friendship, while reducing the burden on carers. Local shops and volunteers came together and teams began to deliver vital fresh groceries every week to frail and elderly people across the region.

Today, The Food Train continues to provide a vital service in Dumfries and Galloway and is now expanding their service across Scotland.

A unique relationship with grocery retailers has been a key factor in its success. Collectively, the retailers have put in thousands of man hours every year to help The Food Train customers.

"The original vision of the food train founders was to enable older people to remain independent at home ensuring they get supplies of fresh groceries delivered weekly. Today, despite the internet, this service is needed more than ever. We remain committed to helping these vulnerable, elderly people access an affordable healthy diet."

Michelle McCrindle, Chief Executive, the Food Train

Community support

Enabling communities to help each other is vital to our aims and we have supported Community Food and Health (Scotland) to help achieve this. Equally important it has enabled communities to help government deliver on its vision for food and drink in Scotland.

"We have always attempted to not only give a hand to those using food to empower communities and tackle inequalities but also a voice."

William Gray, National Officer, Community Food and Health (Scotland)

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Source: Soil Association Scotland

Projects worth over £2 million, supported through our Climate Challenge Fund, have helped 34 different communities across Scotland to reduce their Carbon footprint and access healthy food.

Our partners such as at Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission Scotland have given advice and seed corn funding to support projects such as "grow your own" and other food growing projects that have had community benefits, environmental benefits enabling actions on the ground.

These are just some examples of the projects we and our partners fund to support those more vulnerable in our society access healthy, affordable food. We know there is much more to do, we can all contribute.

ISBN: 978-0-7559-9750-3

DPPAS10916 (11/10)