FWW engaged young people in Thanet, Eastern Kent of England. 

October 19th, 2013 saw a combined effort by Food We Want project of the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA) and Thanet Kidz Klub to address pressing food insecurity issues in Thanet. The event, located in Margate at the Windmill Community Allotment Project, focused on healthy eating, environmental sustainability, urban agriculture, and food security. 

The Newington ward in Thanet, located in Eastern Kent, suffers from one of the highest child poverty rates in the country (49% according to End Child Poverty) and is served only by a handful of small convenience stores offering mainly nutritionally deficient snack foods, sodas, and alcoholic beverages. As a result, this ward has become one of the UK's most deprived food deserts. 

In response to this pressing need, a combined project activity was launched to educate and expose local young people to community growing schemes as well as healthy eating practices and environmental sustainability issues. This project involved the transport of children from Newington to a local Thanet gardening project where they participated in a range of sensory activities including the harvesting of root and salad vegetables, and the picking of apples and blackberries. These foraging and harvesting activities were supplemented with lessons from trained staff in nutrition, sustainability and organic gardening techniques which could be replicated at home to supplement the family diet at little to no cost. With the freshly picked produce, the children then made and ate their own healthy lunches including salads and wraps. After lunch, the children harvested herbs and replanted cuttings to take home. Later that afternoon saw the exploration of local biodiversity through a pond dipping exercise with nets. Here the children learned about how biodiversity such as beneficial bird life and predators of food pests help with the growing of food. Finally, the day concluded with a composting and mulching activity with an emphasis on soil nitrogen sequestration and the importance of detritivores. 

This unique opportunity led several children to remark how they will now have an increased attention to where their food comes from and how nutritious it really is... as well as commenting on how freshly grown fruit and vegetables taste "stronger" (i.e. better) than that bought from the store. Representatives from Thanet Kidz Klub, PENHA, and Food We Want were on hand to witness this event and commented positively on how continued projects such as this could have a positive impact on the Newington community, currently with so few options for nutritionally rich food.  

It is hoped that this project will encourage allotment and back garden growing activities at home as well as serve as a springboard for further and more permanent food security interventions in the Newington area including larger urban agriculture projects.