The Children’s Health Fund established by food charity Sustain with the help of Jamie Oliver is celebrating its first birthday. The fund, which was launched at the end of the TV chef’s Channel 4 documentary “Jamie’s Sugar Rush” in September 2015, sets out to increase awareness of the health issues associated with over-consumption of sugary drinks, whilst also raising funds for projects to improve children’s health.
The funds are raised by restaurants, hotels and other food outlets adding a 10p levy to the price of each sugar-sweetened soft drink that they sell. The money is then distributed through two themed funding rounds each year, with the process overseen by an independent board. In its first round, the fund has supported 26 projects around the UK to improve children’s access to drinking water and encourage kids to reach for water rather than sugar-laden drinks.
So far the fund has distributed £50,000 in grants, improving drinking water access for around 80,000 children nationwide. In the current round the fund seeks to address the vital food provision gap experienced by disadvantaged children around the country during the school holidays.
Gloria Davies-Coates, Children’s Health Fund manager, said, “We are delighted to have been able to provide access to drinking water for so many children and young people across the UK through our first funding round. Our current round is a particularly vital one; no child should be going hungry during the school holidays. We hope other restaurants, hotels and food outlets will come on board so we can help improve more children’s lives across the UK.”