Monday, February 19, 2007

Hansard - role of street markets in providing healthy food

Written questions Monday, 19 February 2007

Anne Coffey, MP, to ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps the Department is taking to support and develop the role of local street markets in helping deliver its healthy eating policy;

(2) what assessment she has made of the potential role of local street markets in the Government's healthy eating strategy.

Written answer, Caroline Flint (Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health)

The extent of evidence on the effectiveness of local street markets in the Government's healthy eating strategy is limited. Anecdotal information, where mobile units have been set up, suggests that they do have merit in deprived areas with low retail density.

To improve people's access to and raise awareness of fruit and vegetables, the Department has provided funding for community food initiatives in all primary care trusts (PCTs) from April 2006 as part of the 'Choosing Health' allocation to PCTs. These community initiatives followed on from the 66 Lottery-funded 5-A-day pilot initiatives. By working in different settings, including local street markets, these initiatives aim to make it easier for people to eat more fruit and vegetables and achieve their five portions a day.

[Click here for the Hansard text.]