Young Food Ambassadors podcast series win Guild of Food Writers 2021 Award for Investigative Journalism #Right2Food podcast series wins top award

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

The Food Foundation's Right2Food podcast began in Lockdown as COVID quickly began to reveal the gaps in the food system. 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, we co-created 7 episodes. The first, Lockdown Life, was launched on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme in July 2020 with our 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: ,

This is not just the story of food poverty, but of the extraordinary community spirit that emerged as a result of lockdown. It's about the power of the phone and of Zoom to keep the ambassadors at the cutting edge of campaigning, using voice to take us right into the underbelly of British poverty. And to show impact as it reaches the seat of power.

The past year has thrown up shocking issues surrounding food deprivation and inequality in the UK. Marcus Rashford, Dame Emma Thompson and Melissa Hemsley discuss these 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.

Despite Government’s Covid-19 emergency measures in place, the problem of child food poverty persists. A report published by the Food Foundation found that households with children have higher levels of food insecurity compared to those without. An estimated 2.3 million children live in households that have experienced food insecurity in the past 6 months since January (12% of households with children) (Food Foundation).

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.”      

Notes to Editor   

Available for Interview: 

Link to Podcasts: or access them via Apple, Spotify and all major podcast platforms. 

 Image 1: Young Food Ambassadors Jani and Rabiya recording the Right2Food podcast; image 2: Dame Emma Thompson and the Young Food Ambassadors visit no. 10. 

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Social Media   

  • Twitter: @Food_Foundation  @deliciousmag 
  • #Right2Food 

About the Food Foundation   

The Food Foundation is a charity working to influence food policy and business practice, shaping a sustainable food system which makes healthy diets affordable and accessible for all. We work in partnership with researchers, campaigners, community bodies, industry, investors, government and citizens to galvanise the UK’s diverse agents of change, using surprising and inventive ideas to drive fundamental shifts in our food system. These efforts are based on the continual re-evaluation of opportunities for action, building and synthesising strong evidence, convening powerful coalitions, harnessing citizens’ voices and delivering impactful communications.  
Registered Charity Number 1187611 

 About Gilly Smith, Podcast Producer 

Food journalist and podcaster Gilly Smith was an early adopter in British food podcasting, and was nominated for a Fortnum and Mason award in 2017 for the delicious. Podcast and won a Silver at the Community Radio Awards in 2015 for her podcast series on Syrian refugees, Jaibli Salaam. She is the producer and presenter of The Food Foundation’s Right2Food podcast, the delicious. podcast, Leon’s How to Eat to Save the Planet, Philip Lymbery’s The Big Table, The Borough Market Podcast and her own Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith and The Write Songs.  




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