Credit: Jo Dawson
The #RaiseASmile campaign and video challenge was started by mum and dental nurse Jo Dawson and invites everyone to get involved by signing a petition to the Department of Health and Social Care and Department of Education and joining a video challenge. The petition calls on ministers to expand the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme to all children in primary school, support British farmers by sourcing more seasonal produce and replacing raisins with fresh vegetables to reduce the risk of tooth decay. People can also get involved by sharing videos of ‘Raising A Smile’ (from frown/neutral face to beaming) on social media under #RaiseASmile and challenge a friend to do the same.
The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme offers 2.3 million children aged 4 to 6 attending state-funded primary schools in England a free piece of fruit or veg each school day. Evaluation of the scheme show that while it leads to an increase in younger children eating fruit and veg, longer and integrated interventions would lead to long-lasting impact and sustained levels of consumption in older children. Sustain has been calling for the expansion of the scheme to all children in primary school and re-specification of produce to include more British, seasonal and environmentally friendly produce. This would result in increased fruit and vegetable consumption and benefit British farmers, children and the environment.