Food Policy Council meeting on Food Poverty
On 10 April the Bristol Food Policy Council met at the Square Food Foundation in Knowle West to explore food poverty in the city. Some of the key organisations providing crisis support to people at the moment, including the Tressell Trust, Matthew Tree Trust, the 5K Foundation and Fareshare SW presented at the meeting, describing their operations and outlining the main issues for them and the people they service.
The meeting coincided with the publication of a draft Public Health Evidence Review on behalf of the Food Policy Council (BFPC), entitled Food Poverty: What does the evidence tell us? The report concludes that the causes of food poverty are complex and multiple. There is, however, inescapable evidence that for many people there is a gap between available income and the cost of buying in food for a nutritious diet. The report will be made available shortly.
Organisations presenting at the meeting come at food poverty from different angles:
The Trussell Trust is primarily a food bank providing food for people and families in crisis, signposting people to other agencies if they feel it is needed.
The Matthew Tree Project provides a more holistic service in-house to help people both with food and social support. They are working to develop a scheme to provide short work placements as part of this programme based around food growing and making simple processed food for sale.
FareShare SW supports food banks and other community organisations working with food-insecure individuals by redistributing quality surplus in-date food from supermarkets which would otherwise go to waste.
The role of the Bristol 5k Partnership is to act as an umbrella body bringing together agencies providing a crisis response to food poverty.
The Square Food Foundation helps people acquire the knowledge to make affordable nutritious meals and thus become more resilient as a result. (Check out Barny’s blog about eating on £2.92 per day for two weeks.)
The Food for Life Partnership supports schools to provide a holistic approach to food service in schools and provides young people with commitment, knowledge and skills.
The conclusions of recent work by the Bristol City Council Quality of Life Scrutiny Committee was also presented to the meeting.
The discussion which followed started to generate some real ideas about moving forward. In particular the example of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, ‘the city that ended hunger’ was suggested as a possible role model for Bristol.
All the resources and outputs for the meeting will shortly be available here, so watch this space.
Watch the webinar of the meeting below:
Bristol City Council is collaborating with 9 European city partners in the URBACT project – Sustainable Food in Urban Communities. Read more in the blog at: www.sustainable-everyday-project.net/urbact-sustainable-food/ and some interesting articles at: www.facebook.com/home.php?clk_loc=5#!/SustainableFoodInUrbanCommunities
URBACT celebrated the EU Green Capital shortlisted cities, Bristol, Brussels, Ljubljana and Glasgow all of whom are participating in URBACT projects.
Cllr Gus Hoyt from the BFPC took part in the launch of the URBACT policy training pilot scheme for elected representatives in April. Gus met with elected representatives from 30 European cities participating in a diverse range of URBACT projects, to share ideas and experiences. http://urbact.eu/en/news-and-events/view-one/news/?entryId=5248
URBACT Markets Project: Torino Chamber of Commerce has awarded €100,000 to fund a web platform to promote local markets and test innovative new market services in Torino. www.blog.urbact.eu/2013/03/urbact-markets-project-stakeholderinclusion-pays-off-for-torino-with-100000-e-web-investment
Kristin Sponsler and Cllr Gus Hoyt from the BFPC travelled to Amersfoort to work with partner cities in EU URBACT ‘Sustainable Food in urban communities’. They’re pictured here at a dairy farm that runs its own farm shop to sell home-produced affordable artisan cheeses alongside goods from other local producers.