Green Street project will tackle obesity with tasty, healthy food

Box Chicken is extending its pilot to provide healthy food for youngsters in the area

Box Chicken is extending its pilot to provide healthy food for youngsters in the area - Credit: Archant

A pilot project that aims to encourage young people to eat healthy fast food is extending its reach in the borough this autumn.

We Are What we Do, a not-for-profit organisation, commissioned Box Chicken last year to provide tasty and healthy chicken for Forest Gate students last year.

The project in Woodgrange Road at the junction with Sebert Road Market Place was so successful that it sold 1,362 meals in a month. It was within easy reach for students from four nearby schools, St Angela’s Ursuline, St Bonaventure’s, Stratford Academy and Forest Gate Community.

Each of the meals had with 90 per cent less saturated fat, 80 pc less salt and fewer than half the calories of a standard chicken shop take-away, as well as two portions of fruit and vegetables.

Now the organisation has appointed a six vendors to sell healthy options across four boroughs to coincide with the autumn term at school. They will serve food that ranges from Caribbean chicken to South Indian street food, and will work closely with We Are What We Do to explore which menus, brands and offerings are most popular with our target audience and ways technology can help support the vendors to maximise their success.

In Newham, the first pitch launched yesterday with Papi’s Pickles which will be serving masal dosas on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the next six months at Queen’s Square Market, just off Green Street. Meals are priced £2.50 for young people/students and £4 for adults.

Nick Stanhope, CEO, We Are What We Do said: “The Box Chicken pilot showed that we can get tasty, affordable food choices into areas dominated by unhealthy options, and offer young people a genuine alternative. The expansion of the pilot will be taking this a step further, with more time and more variables to test. We want to create businesses that can be popular, healthy and financially sustainable that can grow and have an impact

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The project aims to improve diets in low-income areas and combat obesity amongst children and young people, looking particularly at secondary school age children.