This is one of Food Exeter’s three overarching areas of work.
We believe that everyone has the right to enough nutritious food. Yet thousands of people in Exeter are not able to eat a healthy diet. and/or enough food at all. Food poverty, food insecurity and malnourishment are all realities for far too many people in Exeter. Food Exeter wants to see people on low incomes being able to access healthy, nutritious, sustainably grown food. That means working for systematic change so handouts and foodbanks become a thing of the past, and sustainably grown, healthy food is affordable for all. We use the term Fair Access to Food because there are people who are eating a poor diet who are not in food poverty and many people who cannot afford to eat sustainably produced food.
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
Work we have done on fair access to food includes:
Leading the Exeter tranche of a county-wide project researching how emergency food groups and agencies can collaborate better.
Being 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.
Supporting exploration on whether to set up a food poverty alliance of some kind
Producing the first research showing evidence on food poverty in Exeter
Research on community food hubs as means of reducing food poverty
Held Exeter’s first Food Poverty Summit in 2018
Supporting holiday hunger projects
A map of where free and cheap food in Exeter can be found – see below
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.
Food support in Exeter
This map shows where you can find free or very low cost food in Exeter.
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.