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Photo of SMMA's Team Food Fighters, our Sixth Formers who won the Community–Apprentice competition
SMMA's Team Food Fighters, who won the Community–Apprentice competition

Our Community–Apprentice champions!

29 September 2016

At SMMA, our school specialism is Global Citizenship. Every day, we encourage our students to consider their actions in relation to the world around them. So we’re delighted to announce that a team of our Sixth Formers has won the 2016 Community–Apprentice competition.

This prestigious programme, run by youth charity Envision, challenges young people across London to devise projects for tackling social issues in their local community. Working under the name Team Food Fighters, our Sixth Formers chose to tackle food poverty in Islington. Their results were congratulated by Envision as ‘incredible accomplishments, standing out among their peers’.

Here’s how Envision reported on their success:

SMMA’s Team Food Fighters formed as a team out of a shared concern: the amount of food waste that our society produces. After delving more deeply into the issue and examining its causes as well as ways to tackle it, the team decided to run a project tackling food waste by tying it to an issue affecting their local borough of Islington, food poverty.

In order to do this, Team Food Fighters decided to collect in-date and reusable food waste from local coffee shops, supermarkets, and households. The goal was to create and distribute food packs for people living in food poverty and without stable housing. The team aimed to work with a local charity to expand their impact and be able to reach their target audience. Unfortunately they found it very difficult to identify a charity that would help them towards their goal and with whom they could partner. Not to be deterred, Team Food Fighters showed their commitment to tackling the issue and resilience to problems that came their way by identifying a different approach to their initial project idea.

The team’s new approach included assemblies in which they raised awareness about food waste to their immediate peers and to students in younger years. Along with this they also organised an in-school food drive, which raised a considerable amount of food. The team donated the food collected to Islington Foodbank. Tony Cowell from Islington Food Bank sent a thank you e-mail to students for their donation, emphasising how essential their contribution was as the Food Bank was running out of stock.

In addition, Team Food Fighters were able to collect a considerable amount of food from local stores and coffee shops, enabling them to create various meals such as Pasta, noodle, and bean–based dishes which they handed out to people living in food poverty and/or without stable housing. They team was able to reach over 45 people in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Camden giving out over 100 packs and individually prepared food items. Despite the initial setbacks, Team Food Fighters project was a great success with a wide reach, showcasing the team’s creativity in regards to the method of tackling the issues of food poverty and food waste.

Team Food Fighters did extremely well in the face of tough competition and did themselves, their school, and their corporate sponsors proud through their efforts. We are very proud of the change they’ve made within the community! They were recognised for their hard work at Envision’s end-of-year Graduation Ceremony held at Fishmonger’s Hall on July 12.

On behalf of the winning team, Sixth Former Beyzana Kaya says: ‘To win Envision wasn’t the main prize, and although it felt great to win, it was more empowering that we had made an impact on our community, and that all of our hardwork and efforts had been acknowledged.’

Our hearty congratulations go to all of Team Food Fighters for their energy, ideas and commitment. Our new 2017 team had their first Envision session today – we wish them good luck too!