Community Food Champions Are Leading Change

Youth Board member Emmanuel tells us about his meeting with Community Food Champion campaigners in his local area.

Hi, I’m Emmanuel. I live in Wakefield and I’ve been on the Bite Back Youth Board for the last year. A few months ago, I met some of our newest campaigners from our Community Food Champions programme when I went to their pitch event in Hull and I wanted to tell you a little about what they’ve been up to.

Community Food Champions offers passionate young activists the opportunity to be a part of leading the change in their own communities. Through the programme, teams of community groups were asked to come up with their own campaign ideas that they would then implement in their local area. The groups with the best campaigns were awarded a sum of money as a campaign budget to help them implement these ideas and strategies.

Champions from the Hull Pitch Event

This programme is so unique and so important not just for child health in the UK, but also for the next generation of young leaders, activists and change makers who may not always be aware of the power they hold. I am personally a big believer in the idea that in order to be an activist you simply have to want to make change. As young people in our imperfect world, subjected to a food system that doesn’t prioritise our health, it is so important that we take an all hands on deck approach to protecting child health. This is going to take all young people from all backgrounds to speak up and fight if we truly want things to change. So the opportunity that Community Food Champions offers to young activists to get involved in making their communities better is vital in changing our food system for the better.

To watch the journey of each of these groups and their change-makers was inspiring and it honestly gave me the push I needed to keep being persistent even in a world where change can sometimes feel so far away. It was such an amazing feeling watching them through the process, realising that as young people they have the power to make change and then going on to put their power, creativity and wonderful ideas to good use.

Emmanuel a young black man with short cropped hair wearing a black sweatshirt speaking to community food champions during a launch event in 2022
CFC Hull Pitch Event

These champions are now going to use the money they have been awarded and focus on bettering their communities. Because these young people are from these communities and feel the effects of the food system every day they are the best people to campaign for change in their areas. Their ideas are practical and aim to tackle issues affecting the health of all young people in their communities. Their growth has been tremendous and I cannot wait to see the change they bring about in their areas and watch them continue to champion change in their communities in the future.

Author Bio


Originally hailing from Zimbabwe, Emmanuel gained valuable experience in Africa providing free school meals for a local boys orphanage. Now based in Yorkshire and the Humber, the young activist maintains a passion for tackling food injustice – an excellent fit for Bite Back's drive for free school meals, as well as many other campaigns and events. Emmanuel loves this opportunity to make an impact in a real and viable way: "It's one of the greatest things I've ever been able to do."