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On Tuesday I attended a North West regional meet up in Manchester on behalf of Lancaster’s newly formed Food Poverty Alliance. This Alliance was hastily created last month by LESS, Lancaster Peoples’ Café, Claver Hill Community Food Project, Sustainable Food City Lancaster and Lancaster Community Club in response to a pot of money being made available to support food poverty work locally. We are very aware that there are many more groups working to tackle food poverty locally and want to get in touch (see contact below).

Unfortunately the funding bid was unsuccessful. But the programme that made this funding available- Food Power– still offers some important support activities for people working to address food poverty across the UK. A Regional Learning Network has been created in the North West to support networking, skill sharing and learning among the North West Alliances. And other funding opportunities will be made available to Lancaster’s Food Poverty Alliance through the Food Power programme.

Food Power is a four year programme funded by the National Lottery that aims to “strengthen local communities’ ability to reduce food poverty through solutions developed by them with the support of their peers from other communities across the UK.   It aims to transform the way that people in food poverty can access support and create long-term sustainable lives free from hunger. Critical to this will be engaging local people and local alliances, giving voice to those experiencing food poverty, influencing practice on the ground and levering in additional resources.”

Any food poverty alliance in the UK that is registered with Food Power is eligible to apply for up to £5,000 to run pilot projects that explore different approaches to community participation and voice, and empower those with direct experience of food poverty to play an active role in strategic alliance development. The deadline for this second funding opportunity is 26th January 2017.

If there is interest, I will arrange a meeting in the New Year to feedback on what the Food Power programme can offer, and would like to invite anyone involved in food poverty work in Lancaster and Morecambe to attend. At the meeting it would be great to explore the questions: do we need a food poverty network locally to offer support and encourage collaboration? If yes, what should this network look like and what could it do? How can we make best use of ‘Lancaster’s Food Poverty Alliance’ and its connection to the Food Power programme? Is this a suitable name!? Does a local group have an idea for the £5000 pot of funding?

Please contact anna@lessuk.org if you are interested in attending a meeting and I will sort out a suitable room, day and time!



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