Food Security Pilot Project
We are currently trialling a new food security referral tool in Tameside and Oldham. The two tools are being developed as part of a pilot project led by Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) in partnership with the VCSE sector and local authorities in these areas.
This new approach centres around three fundamental points:
• Whilst emergency food handouts are currently necessary, they do not prevent or reduce food poverty.
• The only real way to reduce food poverty is to ensure people have access to a decent and reliable income.
• Identifying what kind of advice or support people need to maximise their income or access cash support, and who provides that advice, can be difficult.
We are embedding use of the referral tools with organisations that refer people to a food bank. This enables them to first identify income maximisation advice for people. We are encouraging these agencies to make an active referral to an organisation who can support with this rather than simply signposting e.g. giving someone a phone number to call or a website to visit. The aim is to help tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity, and reduce demand for food banks, pantries and food clubs.
The pilot project approaches the issue of food insecurity from an advice and cash first approach; the aim being that wherever someone turns to for help when experiencing food insecurity, they are referred to income maximisation support. We would encourage anyone referring service users in Tameside to food banks to access the referral tool here, (the Oldham tool will be published soon) and help enable people to access income maximisation support before referring on to a food bank.
If you are using our referral tool, or plan to do so, we would appreciate your feedback about how you are finding the tool and its use – this feedback can be positive or negative, we want to learn and make this the best process it can be.
Reporting: Please use this form to help us collect data about how the referral tool is used, what support people are accessing, and what support people need but cannot access. This will help us to learn from the pilot and improve the process, as well as highlighting any gaps in support in your area. This form is specifically to tell us about people you have used the tool with, who have come to you needing a food bank voucher. Please complete this simple form on a monthly basis to help us achieve this and make support for those experiencing food poverty stronger.
The Food Security Programme is a Greater Manchester Poverty Action programme.Food Security Pilot Project