Young Food Ambassadors podcast wins Guild of Food Writers 2021 Award

The Food Foundation’s Right2Food podcast has been awarded the Guild of Food Writers 2021 Award for Investigative Journalism.

The podcast series features Marcus Rashford, Dame Emma Thompson and Melissa Hemsley. It explores the human stories behind the Covid 19 statistics on food poverty in the UK.

Its teenage ambassadors, all with lived experience of food poverty, had already been banging on the doors of Government, helped by their fellow ambassador, Dame Emma Thompson to get their voices heard, and had launched their Children’s Right to Food charter prior to the podcast. 

Turning their phones into recorders and using Zoom to direct and produce, they co-created 7 episodes. The first, Lockdown Life, was launched on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme in July 2020 with the teenage food ambassadors co-presenting the show with Sheila Dillon.

The podcast has been used by the young food Ambassadors and the Food Foundation to raise awareness of the complexities of food poverty and has been heard by MPs and changemakers. Emma Thompson invited Marcus Rashford to listen, and the podcast is now embedded on his #endchildfoodpoverty campaign website.    

Marcus Rashford, Dame Emma Thompson and Melissa Hemsley discuss food deprivation and inequality in the UK issues with the Children’s Right2Food Young Food Ambassadors in the first episode.    Presented by young people, many of whom have experienced food poverty, the four episodes explore how to make the food system fairer and looks at some of the solutions young people believe in.

The podcasts were recorded all around the UK and produced by award-winning Delicious podcast producer Gilly Smith.

Dame Emma Thompson, Children’s Right2Food Campaign Ambassador said: “lockdown has seen far too many parents and children experience food insecurity and these podcasts tell the stories of those who young people who have experienced this grim reality and are standing up to rally against it. That includes the heroic Marcus Rashford who has been a game changer in shining the light on child food poverty.”

Melissa Hemsley, Author and Chef said: “I’m in so much admiration of these young people who channel their personal experiences of hardship into their campaigning on behalf of all children. The podcast series has some truly inspiring voices – Emma Thompson and Marcus Rashford, who use their huge influence for the greater good. But, as I explain on the podcast, anyone who cares about the world can be an activist and inspire others to be too.”

Jani, 19, Young Food Ambassador said: “I’m really proud of being part of this podcast series. Emma and I discuss some difficult subjects and some of my own experiences of food insecurity.  When I was younger, I often didn’t play sport because I didn’t have enough to eat. Being listened to by Marcus Rashford is pretty amazing, as he understands how this feels but also shows us young activists that change is possible. We need more people lending their support to our campaign so every young person can get enough healthy food – listening to this podcast and sharing with a friend is a good way to get involved.”

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