Hey, its Dev. Find out a bit more about me
Dev Sharma is an 18-year-old Youth Member of the UK Parliament (Youth MP) and food activist from England, and is passionate about altering the injustices he notices in his daily school life and food environment. He is the Youth MP for Winchester & Chair of Bite Back 2030, a youth-led movement campaigning for all young people to be given equal access to a good diet. He is also an Ambassador for the Food Foundation.
Dev has delivered a Food Charter to no. 10 Downing Street, met with a number of key influential cabinet ministers and Labour leader Keir Starmer, and won the lauded Diana Award for his food poverty activism. Also a Member of the Youth Parliament for Winchester, Dev has been a powerful voice for youth on issues such as holiday hunger and Free School Meals. drawing on his own experiences at school to speak on behalf of his peers as well as trying to improve access and quality of school food.
Dev put his campaigning skills to full use during the COVID-19 pandemic when the UK was in lockdown, when schools closed and children went without their Free School Meal. He shared his views with the media, met with Government Ministers and even supported footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford in his advocacy campaign to end child food poverty. Thanks to these efforts, more than 1 million people signed the petition to support the cause.
He’s also been a vocal campaigner on the influence of junk food advertising on young people, especially when being bombarded by publicity as he leaves school and on social media. Dev began the campaign to ban junk food advertising online, starting an online open letter campaign to Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock. In June 2021, he was successful in getting the government to ban junk food advertising online after the policy was announced in the Queens Speech. His campaign was supported by celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and other large charities.
The campaigning Dev has been part of has also led to some other important policy changes – the UK government extended free school meals over the holidays and has for the first time in a decade extended the value of a benefit scheme called ‘Healthy Start’ from £3.10 to £4.25 to support young families in accessing healthy diets.
Devs’ campaigning work has won him international acclaim, winning applause from Jamie Oliver and Dame Emma Thompson. Recently he has spoken at the UN Food Systems Summit, Global Obesity Summit in New York and switched on Leicester’s Diwali Lights, the largest celebration of Diwali outside India