Hackney Food Poverty Alliance meets to discuss borough-wide response to increasing food poverty
Food charities, voluntary and community sector organisations and Hackney Council came together last week to look at research carried out by the Hackney Food Poverty Alliance and exchange ideas about how to tackle the issue.
The Alliance - a partnership between voluntary and community sector organisations, statutory partners and Hackney Council - aims to identify the actions needed to improve local support for people living in food poverty.
Some of the biggest drivers of poverty include a lack of affordable housing, insecure low wage jobs, the benefits systems and immigration policy. This has resulted in a 40% increase in food parcels distributed in one calendar year by Hackney Foodbank.
The Alliance has carried out research to consider the impact that this is having on Hackney residents and what can be done to prevent food poverty and mitigate the impacts. Whilst a lot of the solutions needed are beyond the control of the Alliance or even the Council, the Alliance began to identify practical actions which they can take locally, including:
Working together to improve the current emergency offer
Taking a more holistic approach to the support offered
Pulling together the various community meal and food waste schemes currently in operation and
Breaking the stigma associated with reaching out for help.
It is a disgrace that in one of the richest cities in the world today, some people struggle to feed themselves and their children. Years of crippling austerity, welfare reform and disastrous immigration policies have all resulted in higher rates of poverty.
We made a key manifesto commitment to reduce poverty across the borough through the development and implementation of our Poverty Reduction Strategy and I am proud to see so many of our dedicated community and voluntary organisations coming together to address this important issue.
Although the focus of today was food poverty, and what we can do to alleviate the situation for people experiencing material poverty today, we would also like to begin to look at how we can work more towards a wider poverty reduction strategy which the Council will be developing over the next few months.
The Food Poverty Alliance will publish its report - including an action plan - early in the new year. Any organisations or individuals interested in providing information to the Alliance, or working with it, should contact Francesca Carnibella- firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The Food Poverty Alliance research is funded by Food Power, a project of Sustain funded by the Community Fund and Church Action on Poverty