Our Food Ambassadors

Our Food Ambassadors are a diverse group of more than 40 activists from around the UK, campaigning both in their own communities and on a national level for the right of all people to be able to access healthy and affordable food.

Many have lived or living experience of food insecurity, and they range from secondary school students, parents and grandparents, to students and young working adults.

As part of the Food Ambassador volunteer programme, they attend events, meet with policy-makers, and undertake media interviews.

Food Ambassador Penny Walters Food Ambassador Penny chairing an event in Parliament

Meet our Food Ambassadors

Food Ambassador Dan White
Dan

Dan is a proud dad to his National Diversity Award winning daughter Emily who is a wheelchair user. As well as being a children’s author, columnist and broadcaster on the issues of Disability and care, he is also a policy and campaigns officer at Disability Rights Uk. Dan is neurodiverse, with OCD, PDA autism and blooming bipolar. 

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Dev
Dev, 18, Leicester

As well as being a Food Ambassador, Dev is Chair of the Leicester Young City Council and recently won the Diana award for his food poverty activism. Dev often speaks out on holiday hunger and Free School Meals himself. He feels strongly about the influence that junk food advertising on young people.

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Dominic

I am a single dad who lives in a council estate block in Kent. Surviving from universal credit, child benefit, and the free school meal vouchers Marcus Rashford passionately campaigned to extend, I discuss my experiences of poverty and food insecurity not only to provide an insight to professional bodies but also to campaign for change in policy so that the understanding and awareness of this inequality is deepened.

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Donna
Donna

Hello there, my name is a Donna McHale, I’m a single mother to 3 handsome boys, Tom, 12, and twins Joe and Josh who are 11.  

I’m excited to be part of the Food Ambassador Team and keen to help and support in any way I can.  

I feel passionate about food, the cost the living and the little support to single parents. 

I’ve recently been helping campaign for free school meals for all, and was approached by Juliet to see if I would be an ambassador and I’ve jumped at the chance. 

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Glory

Hello! This is Glory Omoaka, a mum of two, an activist and an agent of change who has sat at a roundtable and kitchen table with politicians, local authorities, community members and charities organisations especially refugee-led organisations to accelerate changes in the things that matters to us all as a community and  society in general. I work in the healthcare sector because of my passion to help the vulnerable. I have used my lived experience and my voice to contribute to changes.  

Finally, because I love cooking, and healthy food that is acceptable, available and affordable, I have decided to join other Food Ambassadors to challenge or contribute to policies that will ensure a sustainable food system that is delivered in a dignified manner.

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Jacob, 19, Glasgow

Jacob is a Scottish activist who campaigns for change in his own nation as well as his country. From campaigning at the Scottish Parliament to making changes in his own city Jacob is determined to change politicians' minds for the better and for the future generations. 

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Jani, 21, Huddersfield

Jani has grown up in a single-parent home and has felt the brunt of a diet based on cheaper processed foods like pizzas and little to no fruit and vegetables. She speaks out about hunger affecting young people’s concentration at school and preventing them from achieving their goals, like playing sport, due to lack of energy.

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Kathleen

Kathleen Kerridge is an office manager and freelance writer from Portsmouth, and has been campaigning against Food Insecurity since January 2015 when she personally faced the realities of Food Poverty in modern Britain.

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Magda
Magdalena

A single mum who experienced food insecurity in the past (as a young adult and a parent). What helped her to navigate the convoluted food environment are/were knowledge in nutrition and budgeting skills. Nevertheless, being a registered Associate Nutritionist while living in a deprived area is not enough - she wants to see less junk food around as both she and her daughter see the impact of it. She would like the school food to be nutritionally adequate, also food lessons in schools to teach practical skills reflecting the current reality, and healthier food to be the cheaper, easier and fairer option. 

 

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Penny
Penny

Food Poverty Campaigner wanting everybody to have access to healthy food. 

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Ryan, 22, Coatbridge

Ryan is a politically minded campaigner, acting as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and advocating for children in care. He is very strong speaking on the policy changes needed to protect children’s right to healthy and affordable food, and wants to make sure the good practice taking place in Scotland in relation to the monitoring of school food is adopted throughout the UK.

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Saf
Saffron, 19, Portsmouth

Saffron speaks out about the struggles of autistic young people with food and particularly the impact of food insecurity on children on the spectrum. Saffron feels strongly about families paying too much for unhealthy food and wants healthy food to be cheaper and more accessible. She has received The Jamie Oliver Good School Food Awards 2023. 

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Shannon
Shannon

I’m a mum of 2 children under 2. I live in Cornwall. I want to dedicate my free time as a Food Ambassador because I know firsthand how much of a struggle it is to be able to afford formula milk, fruit and veg, not for 1 baby, but for 2, to push through and put others first and go without.  

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Young Food Ambassador
Sharon, 19, London

I am a Food Ambassador because I believe in food justice and change. I believe we can be doing a lot more in the UK to tackle this crisis and I want to be part of a movement that sticks up for our most vulnerable children.

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Tyler, 18, Glasgow

I became a Food Ambassador as I saw the issues going on in the UK regarding poverty. It really struck me to help people become more engaged and understand what it really is. At this moment in time, a few of us are working on awareness packs to highlight what food poverty is from a young persons perspective to share with others. 

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Veron
Veron, 24, Kent

As an engineering student deeply passionate about addressing food waste, social injustice, and supporting the less fortunate, I am committed to making a meaningful impact as a food ambassador. My motivation stems from personal experiences with food insecurity, driving me to advocate for change and ensure equitable access to food for all. With a strong belief in the power of innovation and community engagement, I am dedicated to implementing solutions that promote sustainable food management practices and foster inclusivity. Through my advocacy efforts, I aspire to create a world where no one goes hungry and where food is valued, respected, and accessible to everyone.

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Wena
Wena

My name is Wena, an adult ambassador based in Glasgow. I volunteer at a foodbank, and this opened up my interest on what is good food? What is nutritious and why good and nutritious food is the key for good health. As an advocate, I strive for policies making this food affordable and available, educating the end users (consumers) on the need. 

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Yumna, 19, Birmingham

Yumna is a student advocate and campaigner, elected as Youth MP for Birmingham and Chair of Birmingham Youth Council as well as being an Act4ood, Act4Change Youth Leader. Her fight for an inclusive healthcare system has led her to facilitate numerous sessions with professionals to address healthcare inequalities and speak at national conferences, fuelling her desire to learn more about global and public health. A recent TEDx speaker, ‘Re-Imagining Education To Create An Impact In The World’, Yumna works with organisations focussed on transforming the education system into one that is equitable, inclusive, decolonised and centres the views of learners.

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Zahistha, 22, London

Zahistha, is a UK Registered Associate Nutritionist and a Diabetes Educator who came to the UK as an International student and first hand experienced the struggle to manage finances and feed herself proper food. She focusses on voicing out for the international community in the UK, facing food and nutrition insecurity. 

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Meet our Young Food Ambassadors

Aged between 14 and 18, and in school or college, our young ambassadors have been campaigning for Government to act to stop child food poverty and give every child access to a healthy and affordable diet.

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Aliza, 15, Halifax

I became a young food ambassador because I am passionate about helping to end child hunger and to provide a voice for those in need, having a positive impact and giving them a better future.

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Asha
Asha, 17, Cumbria

Asha understands the need for more support for low income single-parent families at risk of food poverty and campaigns passionately about the lifeline provided by Free School Meals, and the need for schools to be "poverty proofed" –e.g. for free water to be available for all children at schools. 

 

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Beth, 18, Wales

Beth is a determined young campaigner focusing on delivering the Charter goals in her home in Wales and making sure children have equal access to good diets across the UK. She is a strong believer that food poverty is an issue that a highly developed country like the UK should not have to face and wants the Government to listen to young people to bring about change.

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Deborah, 15, London

Debbie wants to change the food environment for children in cities, which in more deprived areas often offers lots of cheap, unhealthy options and not enough fresh, healthy food that’s affordable for families.

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Fayeth, 17, Wales

Fayeth is a young carer and her mum and her are both epileptic. She and her little sisters are all on Free School Meals and Fayeth volunteers at her local foodbank. Fayeth speaks about food insecurity in the context of health vulnerability, and would like to see all children across all UK nations have equal access to food.

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Gianna, 18, Leicester

Gianna was on Free School Meals, she studies nutrition at school, so is passionate about making sure all children both get enough food and that it is good quality. Gianna believes any remaining credit on Free School Meal cards should be rolled over accumulated, so children have more opportunity buy the more expensive, healthier options at the school canteen.  

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Hasan, Young Food Ambassador
Hasan, 15, Halifax

Hasan became a youth campaigner due to his strong belief that no child should go to sleep hungry. He wants to do as much as he can to help young people in a society he feels allows the 'rich to get richer' and the 'poor to get poorer'.

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Hussnain, 14, Halifax
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Jayson, 16, Leicester
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Keira
Keira, 15, Greater Manchester

I became a Young Food Ambassador because I want to be part of a team who helps families and young people have the right to food.

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Laiba, 16, Halifax

I became a Young Food Ambassador because I hate the phrase 'You are too young'. If I want I can do anything and no I am not too young to do anything. If I have to stand up for my fellow humans throughout the UK who are struggling with food problems I will.

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Mimi, 15, Northern Ireland

I became a Young Food Ambassador when I’m 14 because I want people to hear my side of the story around food poverty. I grew up in a single parent household with my dad raising my older brother and me. We had free school meals up until 2022 and had to cut back so we could afford other things.  

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Young Food Ambassador
Mirzan, 17, London

I am on the Barnet Council's youth board, an active member in my school's mental health group and am also a Young Conservative. I know what it is like receiving free school meals and this is why I joined the Food Foundation and decided to speak up, and create change for good.

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Rhowan
Rhowan, 17, Glasgow

I joined Children's Right2Food because I believe that it's every family and young person's right to have access to affordable, nutritional food no matter what their income is. So I joined to give awareness on food poverty that is going on in my community and others.

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Rushda, 15, Halifax

I have decided to campaign because I recognise the positive impact it will bring to not only our community but everyone else around the country and globe. I also want to spread the belief that no one is ever too young to make a difference or even contribute towards a better future.

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sabha
Sabha, 15, Halifax

The reason why I wanted to become a Young Food Ambassador is because I am really passionate about people having a voice. It makes me feel like I am using my voice in a respectful manner and sticking up for people. My goal is to end child hunger by allowing and campaigning on Free School Meals. 

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Sidrah, 14, Halifax

I am a keen and determined ambassador willing to make changes and help children who don't have meals at school. I am optimistic and have huge hope for the future of Free School Meals.

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Food Foundation youth campaigner
Tymek, 15, Devon

I joined the Food Foundation because I have always campaigned for better school meals and for more people to have access. No child should be hungry at school. I am also the deputy member of Youth Parliament for North Devon, West Devon and Torridge and the only Young Food Ambassador in the South-West.

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Get Involved

Are you interested in becoming a Food Ambassador?

If so, email us at volunteering@foodfoundation.org.uk introducing yourself and explaining why you would like to volunteer at The Food Foundation. You can do this in writing (no more than 300 words) or on a video. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Young Food Ambassadors eventOne of our events at OmVed Gardens

Our story so far

Our work with Food Ambassadors was kicked off by the Children's Future Food Inquiry in 2018, which was the first attempt in the UK to speak directly to children and young people about their experience of food and how it affects their lives.

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The Children’s Future Food Inquiry was launched in 2018 as the first attempt to speak directly and systematically to children, young people and those who live and work with them about children’s experience of food and how it affects their lives.

The Inquiry was spearheaded by a cross-party parliamentary committee and led by partners in each of the devolved nations: Food Sense Wales, Children in Wales, Children in Scotland and Children in Northern Ireland.

Read the report here

The outcome of the Inquiry was the hugely successful Children’s Right2Food Campaign. Our Young Food Ambassadors created a Children’s Right2Food Charter, which they delivered to 10 Downing Street, with actress Dame Emma Thompson who supported the campaign.


Children's Right2Food - The Story So Far

It also lead to the creation of The Food Foundation’s Right2Food podcast, which was later awarded the Guild of Food Writers 2021 Award for Investigative Journalism for exploring the human stories behind the Covid-19 statistics on food poverty across the UK.

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They delivered their Right2Food Charter to

10 Downing Street

with Dame Emma Thompson who supported the campaign.

Our Young Food Ambassadors also worked with Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford in 2020 on the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign, which led to £220 million being provided by the government for Holiday Activity and Food programmes around the UK.

Rashford and Ambassadors

They joined 

Marcus Rashford’s

#EndChildFoodpoverty 

campaign to make sure no child in the UK went hungry.

Kathleen was our very first adult Food Ambassador. She was an established activist and came on board to work with us in 2019.

Dominic and Dan joined us in 2021, and amongst other things, began writing blogs for our Breadline Voices series. Since then, our group of Food Ambassadors has been growing, and now cover every region of the UK.

Kathleen KerridgeKathleen at our Veg Summit in 2018

Between them they have appeared on the Radio 4's Today programme, on ITV News, BBC Newsnight, Sky News, and on numerous podcasts. They have been quoted in The Guardian, The Financial Times,  given evidence to government Select Committees.

They have also judged awards, spoken at webinars and workshops, and been part of many parliamentary events and media stunts.

For any queries about our Food Ambassador programme, please contact our Citizen Engagement Manager at lucy.heyderman@foodfoundation.org.uk

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