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FOOD POVERTY 'RADAR' TOOL LAUNCHED

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A new tool that could help improve the health of thousands across UK communities has been being at the Trading Stan...
A new tool that could help improve the health of thousands across UK communities has been being at the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) annual conference.

Developed by Staffordshire CC in partnership with the National Consumer Council (NCC) - and supported by the Food Standards Agency - the food access radar toolkit has completed successful trials in Oxfordshire.

It uses information local councils already have to identify areas where people have difficulty accessing affordable and healthy food.

Jillian Pitt, a senior nutrition adviser at the NCC said: 'For some people, buying food in local shops can mean less variety and choice, higher prices and lower quality, making it hard to eat a healthy diet. This can have a huge impact on health. Thanks to the new tried and tested toolkit all local authorities are now in a position to identify problem areas and take action.

'We would like to encourage as many councils as possible to make use of this device to improve access to healthy food - for instance, by changing bus services and working with retailers and community groups.'

Phil Owen, principal trading standards officer at Oxfordshire CC, said: 'This kit saves you having to go out and about and do all the initial consultations. It has saved Oxfordshire CC time and money, helping us to prioritise and better use our resources. It has also assisted us with the delivery of Oxfordshire's objectives for improving local communities. Any council looking to make local services better should definitely use it.'

For a copy of the food access radar toolkit - which comes with a CD ROM and step-by-step guide - contact Saba Zaidi, Core Services Officer, on 020 7881 3008 or email s.zaidi@ncc.org.uk.

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