Food Behind Bars

Food Behind Bars is a national campaign to improve prison food standards in the UK, launched in November 2016 by campaigner and journalist Lucy Vincent.

Its mission is to raise awareness around the subject of prison food and highlight how better quality nutrition can lead to better outcomes - both in and out of prison.

Food Behind Bars


Food Behind Bars is a national campaign to improve prison food standards in the UK, launched in November 2016 by campaigner and journalist Lucy Vincent.

It's mission is to raise awareness around the subject of prison food and highlight how better quality nutrition can lead to better outcomes - both in and out of prison.



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What's the problem

Although society now understands the important role a healthy diet can play in day-to-day life, prison has been relatively forgotten. Despite housing some of the country’s most volatile and mentally-unstable individuals, diet has yet to be recognised as a factor that can impact their health, wellbeing, cognitive development and behaviour.

Food Behind Bars believes that an improvement in prisoner diet could lead to an improvement in prison life - reducing violence and disruption, influencing mood and mental health and ultimately placing individuals in a stronger position to leave prison fully rehabilitated.

What's the problem

Although society now understands the important role a healthy diet can play in day-to-day life, prison has been relatively forgotten. Despite housing some of the country’s most volatile and mentally-unstable individuals, diet has yet to be recognised as a factor that can impact their health, wellbeing, cognitive development and behaviour.

Food Behind Bars believes that an improvement in prisoner diet could lead to an improvement in prison life - reducing violence and disruption, influencing mood and mental health and ultimately placing individuals in a stronger position to leave prison fully rehabilitated.

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Nutrition

Prison food can vary greatly from each establishment, however on the whole, prison diet doesn’t contain enough fresh fruit and vegetables, is high in carbohydrates and lacking in variety. In many instances, prisoners are forced to supplement their diet with sugary snacks purchased from canteen. Portion sizes are often inadequate, especially in the breakfast packs.

Food Behind Bars believe menus should offer greater variety, an emphasis on vital nutrients and nourishing meals that keep individuals fuller for longer.

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Education

50% of prisoners in the UK are functionally illiterate and the vast majority are from low socio-economic backgrounds. The concept of ‘healthy eating’ is a subject that has probably never factored into their lives before. Many would have led chaotic lifestyles on the outside and require educating as to why a healthy diet could be beneficial for them. This is something that prisons are currently not offering.

Food Behind Bars believe it should be made a priority and is crucial for a change in prison food to be a success.

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Funding

The budget for prison diet is £2.10 per head, per day - hospital food budget is triple this amount.. Although plenty more can be done to improve food quality within this budget, we have seen firsthand how prison kitchens struggle to offer adequate nutrition, portion size and variation under £2.10.

Food Behind Bars eventual aim is to place the topic of prisoner diet onto the government agenda, pushing for an increase is spending. Better food will result in better prison conditions and an improvement in prisoner wellbeing - saving public money in the long-run.

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Awareness

Unlike school food, the topic of prison food has existed relatively under-the-radar. Food Behind Bars wants to change that. The way our prisons operate affects all of us - whether we realise it or not. Society as a whole will benefit from a prison system that functions better.

Communities will benefit from individuals released into our neighbourhoods who are in a better state than when they entered prison. We can’t underestimate the role food plays in this.

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Food Behind Bars – The UK's national campaign
to improve prison food.

Get in touch – lucy@foodbehindbars.co.uk 

Instagram   |   Twitter

Food Behind Bars – The UK's national
campaign to improve prison food.

lucy@foodbehindbars.co.uk

Instagram   |   Twitter