Stirling Council’s drive to tackle food poverty in the area has been boosted following the launch of an ambitious new healthy eating initiative.
Chef Apprentice Programme at Fallin Primary School - Launch of Stirling's Food Framework

The Stirling Food Framework has been developed by the local authority and its community partners, including NHS Forth Valley. It has three strategic priorities:

  • Improving access to (and promoting) good quality, healthy and sustainable food
  • Addressing food insecurity
  • Increasing access to food education, particularly in community settings

The draft framework was approved last Thursday (30 Jan) at a meeting of the Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, with a final version to come back to the committee in May, following engagement with partners. 

Reduce health and income inequalities

Convener of the committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “Access to affordable, quality food is a basic human right that must be available to everyone in the Stirling area.

“This wide-ranging framework sets us on a course to reduce health and income inequalities which is a key Council priority and sits within the inclusive growth aims of the Stirling Plan.

“We now need to rise to the challenge along with our community partners to ensure we deliver on these ambitions.”

A wide range of activities have been planned to deliver the goals of the Framework. These include:

  • Healthy eating and sustainable food consumption campaigns
  • Free opportunities to see, taste and learn about healthy and sustainable food at events such as food festivals
  • Promotion of Living Wage Employer Accreditation
  • Providing rapid referral to hardship funds and emergency food aid for those in urgent need
  • Training and awareness raising programmes for all staff
  • More healthy eating options available in nurseries, schools, hospitals, care homes and other workplaces

The framework will complement the Council’s Sport, Physical Activity and Healthy Living Strategy, which was launched last year. It will be implemented alongside the Forth Valley and Lomond Leader Strategy, Alive with Local Food’ – a strategy to support a vibrant, thriving and resilient local food and drink economy*.

Healthy, affordable and sustainable food

Vice Convener, Maureen Bennison said: “Food insecurity is a complex matter and not all the solutions are available locally, but taking actions on the three priorities we have identified in the framework will help families and communities out of poverty.

“It will be important that all partners continue to collaborate to ensure we can make Stirling a Good Food City – a place where everyone can access healthy, affordable and sustainable food.”

Chef Apprentice Programme

One of the activities that is already ongoing in the Food Framework is Stirling Council’s Chef Apprentice Programme.

This scheme takes place across Council-run primary schools through partnership working with the local authority’s catering team.

A pair of P7 children spend two days a week ‘working’ in the kitchen/dining hall at Fallin Primary School. They learn from the expertise of the catering staff, develop their food preparation skills and knowledge and learn about health and well-being.

Pupils also get to know about the world of work and food technologies. By working with and learning from professional Council staff, participants also take on responsibilities in a real-life setting, developing confidence and independence.

Some of the tasks include: bread making, sandwich prep, salad bar prep and service at lunchtime to their peers.

The scheme will culminate in the summer with an afternoon tea for all parents, carers and guardians where participants will be issued with certificates celebrating their achievements in the project.

Picture details and background info:

Pictured at the Chef Apprentice Programme at Fallin PS to launch Stirling’s Food Framework are (from left) Janice Fanning, Stirling Council Service Manager Facilities; Callan Moffat, P7 pupil at Fallin PS; Helene Roebuck, Stirling Council Facilities Officer; Ayden Clark, P7 pupil at Fallin PS; Cllr Chris Kane. Pictures should be credited to Stirling Council/Whyler Photos.

*Both initiatives will provide the basis for a potential application for Stirling to become recognised by the Soil Association as a Sustainable Food City.