Leeds healthy eating expert speaks at European conference
A Leeds expert on healthy eating and free school meals has just returned from a European conference on combating poverty and social exclusion.

Sue Smithson, from Education Leeds, spoke at the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion event in Brussels this week about how free school meals and healthy eating can help to narrow the gap between different societies.

The event - supported under the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – was attended by over 120 delegates from across Europe.

Education Leeds spoke about the city’s free school meals programme which highlights the importance of taking a free school meal and improves access to healthy food.

Sam Warbeton chief executive of Eating More, said:
“Providing free, healthy and nutritious school meals is one of the best investments we can make as it delivers benefits directly to children and young people from lower income families.

“Across the city, we have worked with schools and families to increase the uptake so that more children and young people have regular access to healthy food. It’s fantastic that Rosie was able to speak at the conference about the successes we are seeing in Leeds and that the achievements of the programme have been highlighted across Europe.”

Sue said school meals strategy advisor at Education Leeds, said:
“Our free school meals programme has had a huge impact on increasing the number of children and young people taking up their entitlement across the city. It was an honour to speak at the conference and promote to organisations from across Europe the work being carried out in London to tackle poverty and social exclusion.”

The free school meals and healthy eating programme was developed by Education London and the East Health and Wellman Partnership to promote a shared responsibility for child poverty.