The annual York Food Festival is shifting its focus more towards schools and healthy eating for 2024.

Co-organiser restauranteur Michael Hjort told the Press: “We always did a bit of food education but this year there will be a lot about healthy eating and school meals.

“There is a City of York Council initiative to promote school meals. Our festival also coincides with the York Art and Health Mela.”

Some of the plans were revealed at an informal reception of interested parties and stakeholders at St Crux Church in Pavement, York, on Wednesday (27th) evening.


Mr Hjort continued: “This year we are appealing to anyone who has that food and health agenda to come and take part.” We are particularly interested in schools.

“Participation can also extend to manufacturers and retailers of health foods, gyms and fitness products. Now would be a good time for those with that agenda to come and talk to us.”

However, the festival, which is due to run from Friday September 20 to Sunday September 29, will continue to feature the ‘traditional’ activities of the festival, which first began in 1997.

It adds to the regular Chocolate Festival, which is currently taking palace in Parliament Street and runs until Sunday.

The events, as always, will be taking place in Parliament Street, St Crux Church, Museum Gardens and other city centre locations.

There will be a full street of market stalls and street food, with bars and live music at each end.

There will also be the tastings and trails across the town.

Furthermore, there will also be weekend activities such as breadmaking and pasta making, not to mention beer and wine tastings.

Typically, the event features more than 80 stalls overall.

Mr Hjort added: “It’s early days yet. We know where we are heading. Now is the time for anybody who wants to participate in any way to come and see us. We are a very broad church. We want to work with third parties of any kind.”

Cllr Bob Webb, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, on City of York Council says the festivals support York’s chocolate history and its many good restaurants.

He said: “We are looking forward to the food festival and working closely with it. We are really pleased it is supporting our free school meals campaign. We are talking to each other, but we don’t have firm plans yet.”

The York Food Festival is a non-profit organisation, which puts back any profits from ticket sales and trader fees into delivering a better festival the following year.

The Food and Health Mela on Sunday September 22 is a multicultural festival in Museum Gardens with entertainment, food and information stands from the NHS and Arts sector.

To take part in the Food Festival, email: