'Cash first' solutions to food insecurity
Why cash first?
During the summer of 2021 we were pleased to launch the new 'Worrying About Money?' leaflet for Shropshire. These cash-first referral leaflets are in circulation in other local authority areas across the UK and have been co-produced with the Independent Food Aid Network and local organisations.
We know from our work that:
The main driving factors behind food insecurity in the UK and Shropshire are insecure and insufficient income.
Emergency food aid and food parcels are sticking plasters, they don't let us address the root causes of food insecurity and they are not the most dignified way to support people.
The leaflets are a straightforward, step by step guide for anyone facing financial crisis (and those supporting them) to quickly see the local cash first support and advice which is best placed to help. A tool for individuals, but also a resource for frontline staff and volunteers to help them approach conversations around money with the people they support.
We know that both individuals in crisis, and the frontline staff supporting them, can find support systems complex and difficult to navigate so our hope is that this project will help to reduce barriers to existing financial entitlements and the need for charitable food aid by enabling people to access more dignified, cash first support.
Find out more about the leaflets, the launch event and training sessions we have run as part of the project below.
How can the cash first referral leaflets help?
In October 2021, as part of Challenge Poverty Week England and Wales we ran a launch event for the leaflet explaining the aims and motivation behind the project. You can watch a recording of the session here.
Following on from the launch event, we ran a free one-hour training session for frontline staff and volunteers with Citizens Advice Shropshire based on a resource linked to the leaflet originally developed by the Highland 'Worrying About Money?' stakeholder group and adapted by the Cornwall stakeholder group.
These sessions were aimed at individuals who have brief conversations with people about their money worries as part of their job/volunteering role and are looking for some support and advice about how to approach these conversations. They include details of support services available in Shropshire and how to use the cash first referral leaflets as an active resource to engage people.
We plan to host more sessions in the future, to register your interest please contact email@example.com