The ongoing 5-a-Day campaign has been awarded a £1.5m boost to take its message into the heart of the community.

The cash, from the Lotto’s New Opportunities Fund, will be used to fund ten 5-a-day community initiatives throughout England, with the aim of improving access to fruit and veg for low income families.

The schemes will offer an innovative range of activities and projects, ranging from cookery classes in community centres to a mobile delivery service and grow-your-own schemes.

All of the projects aim to encourage people to eat more
fruit and veg in a bid to reduce three of the UK’s biggest killers, cancer, heart disease and strokes.

Chair of the New Opportunities Fund, Baroness
Jill Pitkeathly, said: “Most people know we should be eating more fruit and vegetables but many of us aren’t eating enough.

“Evidence suggests that increasing our consumption significantly reduces the risk of cancer and helps protect against heart disease. These schemes should help bring home to everyone the importance of eating five portions a day."

The 10 projects, throughout seven regions of England, will each receive around £150,000 and build on pilots undertaken by the Department of Health.

Food Standards Agency research shows that in England, children eat on average just two to three portions of fruit and veg a day. Adults eat on average fewer than three. Unemployed people and those on low incomes consume around half the amount consumed by people on higher incomes.
Ed Bedington