Our theme for this year is Increasing access to healthy affordable food
People on low incomes need to be able to access to low cost, healthy food. However, many people living in poverty do not have a car and cuts to public transport, particularly in rural areas, makes it difficult for families to access cheaper supermarkets. Even in towns access is an issue for those without their own transport. There are many community solutions which can help.
We will be running a workshop on increasing access to healthy affordable food early next year. Please register your interest here.
Shropshire Food Projects
Communities across Shropshire are working together to support people in food poverty through a range of food projects.
In Oswestry OsNosh prepare a weekly lunch on thursday which is open to all on a Pay as You Feel basis. Using surplus food they are able to feed anyone in the community at a low cost, bringing people together to share a meal.
In Ludlow, the Rockspring Community Centre hold a weekly meal for the community. For £2 diners are able to come together to enjoy a hot meal and a pudding.
UK Food Projects
There are some fantastic community led food projects running across the UK which increase access to low cost affordable food. Many of these projects could work well in rural parts of Shropshire:
Affordable Food Boxes
A scheme in Chesterfield provides low income households with an affordable box of food for a weekly cost of £7. The food is sourced from Fareshare and each box would have cost around £40 if bought directly from a supermarket.
Food Clubs & Pantries
There are many Food Clubs opening across the country. For example the Mustard Tree Food Club allows people to choose 10 food items in return for a £2 weekly membership fee. In Stockport the local Housing Association has partnered with Church Action on Poverty to open Food Pantries. In return for a weekly membership fee of £2.50 members are able to choose 10 items of food. They are now rolling out their pantry model across the UK.
In Wales over 300 schools and other community venues run food co-ops where people come together to group buy fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and bakery items, saving the average customer £220 per year.
Good Food Hubs
Good Food Hubs are being trialled in Liverpool. They re-imagine meals on wheels to create a service which feeds everyone the community well. Community centres act as Good Food Hubs, where meals can be ordered for delivery (either to the centre or to the persons home). Slow cooker bags which contain prepared ingredients are available for people with limited mobility. They also supply a 'safety box' which contains everything you would need in your cupboards after hospital discharge.
Breakfast Clubs & Holiday Hunger
Fruit & Veg Vouchers
Children's Centres in six parts of the UK can give Rose Vouchers to low income families which can be exchanged for fresh fruit and vegetables. Most of the schemes partner with local market traders, but in Liverpool they have a mobile fruit and vegetable van which travels around the city. In London the NHS are also trialling prescriptions for fruit & vegetables as part of a wider Social Prescribing trial.