Collaboration on Food Poverty & Insecurity
Food Exeter have worked with local organisations since our formation, to increase collaboration in the city on all aspects of food poverty. Our work has shown that local organisations believe that there are ways to work together in smarter ways, and the potential to develop new, joint solutions. Together with Exeter Community Initiatives, we led an innovative dialogue process between emergency food groups and agencies to seek for any agreed areas for change. More details can be found here.
The final report can be seen here.
NB This report includes our earlier Advice and Information mapping project, co-funded by Exeter Food Bank, and the national Food Power movement, looking at ways to improve the quality of advice and information for people living in poverty. The summary report of our findings can be found here, and the complete report including all the data and comments can be found here.
Evidence on food poverty in Exeter
One of our first actions was to carry out some basic research on food poverty and food insecurity as found that there was no evidence on the scale or nature of the problem, other than having a heavily used local food bank. Our research showed that Exeter has widespread food poverty and food insecurity, and that action by relevant organisations was fragmented and patchy.
A Food Poverty Summit
In November 2018, Food Exeter held Exeter’s first ever event focusing on food poverty. It attracted brought people from over thirty local public and community organisations – schools, children’s centres, community projects, churches, local politicians and council officers. Participants worked together to better understand the nature and scope of the problem, hear about inspiring initiatives, propose strategic priorities and explore new actions.
School and holiday hunger
Our research on food poverty highlighted the importance of providing food for children who don’t get enough food during school holidays, and on the power of schools to improve families and children’s access to healthy food. Food Exeter collaborated with local organisations to support a number of holiday hunger projects. Our summer 2021 report on emergency food had further insights into the critical role that schools play in addressing child food poverty
Free food in Exeter
The Food Poverty Summit in 2018 highlighted that the provision of free or cheap food in the city was hard to understand – for those wanting it and for agencies who could signpost. Food Exeter created a map of the places where people can access free or very low cost food.
Food Exeter is about finding ways for more Exeter residents to eat a healthier diet – and enjoy it! We believe that finding ways to connect consumers to local producers will help raise interest in eating better, especially more vegetables and fewer processed foods. It is clear that when people are given the right opportunities & support, they are better able to change their bad food habits. Building connections to local, fresh produce encourages more cooking and consumption of healthy food. Sourcing local food by businesses, hospitals, schools etc, is a good way of encouraging healthier eating by staff, customers, patients or pupils
We initiated and continue to support the Devon Sugar Smart campaign.