Join the Greater Manchester Food Poverty Alliance
The proliferation of food banks and other social food providers has been one of the largest movements of this decade – now we must work together for a Greater Manchester in which no-one has to go hungry.
With lower incomes and higher costs, many people are struggling to put food on the table, and a healthy, balanced diet may be even further from their reach. Many are also limited by inadequate cooking facilities. The explosion in the number of social food providers – we have mapped 171 of them across the city region – shows that the people of Greater Manchester share our concern and are taking action.
Some of these efforts are coordinated on the ground, for example in Wythenshawe and Stockport, and there is some over-arching coordination by the likes of The Trussell Trust, Independent Food Aid Network and Greater Together Manchester. However many gaps remain, for example valuable data remains uncollected by many food banks, in some areas public sector and social sector responses are not joined up, and the role of much of the private sector is significantly underdeveloped.
We believe that this is the time for strategic action to bring out the best in Greater Manchester’s response. The first aim of the Alliance will therefore be to co-produce a Food Poverty Action Plan for Greater Manchester. The plan will set achievable actions, to:
• Reduce and prevent food poverty
• Build resilience and support communities to plan and adapt to the challenge of food poverty
• Address structural and economic issues that underlie food poverty, such as the benefits system and precarious and low-paid employment
I also made a pledge at the Mayor’s Green Summit last week that the Alliance will consider the environmental impact of its recommendations, while also challenging those who lead on environmental issues to consider the impact of their work on people in poverty.
Participants can be in the public, private or social sectors, and they can be leaders in positions of power, on-the-ground practitioners or people with lived experience of food poverty. This alliance will have a place for people from all walks of life, all across Greater Manchester, as long as they want to work with others towards a more coordinated and strategic long-term approach to addressing food poverty in our city region.
We ask every organisation that works with people who have lived experience of food poverty, to encourage some of them to attend the meeting. The Alliance, and the Action Plan, will be stronger and have greater integrity if co-produced with people who are ‘experts by experience’.
You can join the alliance by attending our launch event:
Time: 1pm – 4pm Date: Tuesday May 8th 2018
Venue: Main Hall, Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JQ.
If you cannot attend the event but would like to be included in future communications about the Alliance, please email Tom with ‘FPA Sign-up’ in the subject line.