My role was created with the support of the Sustainable Food Cities Network, who awarded Sustainable Food City Lancaster (SFCL) a £10,000 grant to support its efforts to make local, healthy and sustainable food available to everyone in Lancaster. LESS matched this with £10,000 of its own money, resulting in £20,000 in total going towards developing Lancaster’s sustainable food culture.
The grant will enable Lancaster to develop a cross-sector food partnership that oversees the development and delivery of an action plan that brings ‘good food back to the table’. It will do this by following the Sustainable Food Cities model which aims (through collaborative partnerships between local authorities, charities, businesses and community groups), to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today: From an epidemic of food poverty and diet related ill-health to the loss of independent high street food businesses and family farms through to climate change, biodiversity loss and food waste.
In doing so, Lancaster city joins a network of other cross-sector partnerships in towns, cities, boroughs and counties that are using food as a vehicle for driving positive change.
In particular, the grant will support SFCL in:
- Developing a city-wide food poverty network to support current food poverty initiatives in moving beyond the food bank.
- Updating Lancaster’s local food directory, lessuk.org/directory.php
- Running four seasonal local food markets to raise the profile of local sustainable food businesses and community food projects. The first of these is Lancaster’s Spring Market – to be held on the 30th March in Lancaster’s central market square.
- Supporting Lancaster’s Lost Art of Living health festival in September 2018 by organising a number of food-themed activities and events.
- As a city, working towards applying for a Sustainable Food City bronze award.
Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Cities, commented: “In nearly 50 towns and cities across the UK, individuals and organisations have come together to develop a joint vision of the kind of food culture and food system they would like to see and are working together to make that vison a reality. Sustainable Food City Lancaster has shown a real ambition to transform things for the better in Lancaster and we are delighted to be able to support them in achieving their goals. ”
You can keep up to date on SFCL’s work by reading the local food (Anna Clayton) column in the Lancaster Guardian each week, by reading this blog, and by following us on Facebook and Twitter @FoodOfLancaster.