Pioneering healthy eating initiative shortlisted for national award
A pioneering healthy eating initiative led by Tendring District Council (TDC), Brentwood Council and Basildon Council, has been shortlisted for a national award.
TuckIN, run by the Essex Local Authorities Food Group, has reached the finals of the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2019 in the Public Health category.
The scheme sees officials at Essex councils work with food businesses to help them provide a healthy offering to the public.
It focuses on key areas, such as reducing salt and sugar content, using healthy oils and offering smaller sized portions (calorie control), as well as offering nutrition training to the businesses and encouraging them to serve healthier options – tying in with the livewell campaign promoting healthy lifestyles in Essex.
TuckIN has proved so successful that it is now being rolled out in other areas, such as Luton and Thurrock. It was initially set up with funding from Essex County Council to tackle high obesity rates, and TDC, Brentwood and Basildon councils act as the lead authority for the scheme – with more than 180 businesses signed up.
Michael Talbot, TDC Cabinet Member for Environment, said being shortlisted for the top award was thoroughly deserved.
“Tuck In is really taking a different approach to tackling obesity – while there are lots of existing schemes which aim to nudge the public eating takeaway food, this looks at making sure what is provided is as healthy as it can be,” Cllr Talbot said.
“I am pleased at how well Tuck In is working across Essex, with all the councils getting involved, and this success can be seen by the approach from Luton to roll-out the scheme there.
“This shortlisting is further recognition of Tuck In’s effectiveness, and I believe the team can go all the way to scoop the award.”
Jon Blyth from Crispin’s sandwich shop in Clacton said the business was really benefiting from the scheme.
“The support offered by TuckIN helps us to offer healthy food, which not only keeps existing customers happy but helps to draw new ones in,” Mr Blyth said.
“I would really recommend the scheme to other food businesses.”
The LGC Award winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony in London in March.
LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The councils that have been shortlisted for an LGC Award are among the most innovative – and their innovation is providing the best services for residents, despite local government facing enormous budget cuts.
“The officers and councillors of shortlisted councils deserve enormous credit for thinking of new ways to deliver the best services, ensuring vital services thrive in the era of austerity.”