A Food Poverty Action Plan for Exeter
“I lost my job and had no pay out at all. I had no money to travel to an interview for a new job. There is a 2-3 week gap before receiving benefits and our only income is child benefit and child tax allowance. I had easy access to the foodbank but it makes me feel horrible – I don’t want to have to use it.” Foodbank user
Everyone has the right to enough nutritious food, yet thousands of people in Exeter are not able to eat a healthy diet. Food Poverty is a reality in Exeter, as it is across the UK, with use of food banks growing every year since records began in 2012.
Food Exeter is working with agencies across Exeter to develop an Action Plan for Exeter – carrying out a brief survey of support agencies, interviewing food bank users, analysing new Public Health indicator data, mapping what’s currently available and holding a workshop with food support agencies. A small grant from the University provided us with research expertise to analyse this data.
There is vigorous action being taken to help those in food poverty with their immediate needs, and a map of the support available can be found here.
Tackling food poverty – at its root causes – is a strategic priority for Food Exeter. We are part of the national Food Power programme. The goal is to transform the way that people experiencing food poverty can access support and create long-term, sustainable lives that are free from hunger. Critical to this is engaging local people, giving voice to those experiencing food poverty, influencing practice on the ground and levering in additional resources.
Exeter Food Poverty Summit
The Food Poverty Summit, held on 13th November 2018, brought together people from more than 35 local public and community organisations – schools, children’s centres, community projects, churches, local politicians and council officers – to better understand the nature and scope of the problem, hear about inspiring initiatives, propose strategic priorities and make commitments for action.
You can download the Summit presentations and key documents here.
Food Support in Exeter
A map of where to find free or very low cost food in Exeter is here
School and Holiday Hunger
The Fair Access to Food Working Group has been looking at ways to make school meal clubs (breakfast, lunch, after school) and holiday food clubs (to address children not getting enough food in the holidays) more systematically provided across the city. At present, provision is patchy. A Food Exeter collaboration with St Sidwells, Exeter Food Action and local schools has seen a regular Cookery School taking place each summer and this will expand in future.
This work is being taken forward by our Fair Access to Food Working Group. If you would like to be part of this work, please contact us.
Read more about food poverty here