Our Food Stories: Jeni Meadows
Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance – Community Development Worker
Where I am today certainly did not evolve from a personal interest in food. To be honest, I’ve always seen it as a necessity, rather than something to enjoy. But I came to Lancaster as a student in 2015 and I stayed. Even then I could really feel the sense of community that thrives here, and I wanted to be a part of it. At the time, I didn’t know how.
Then, mid-2020, I left my safe office job to become the Admin Manager at Eggcup. I wanted to do something useful in that time of crisis, to feel like I was part of something and feel like I belonged to a growing movement that would last beyond the pandemic.
The 18 months I spent at Eggcup certainly ticked all those boxes, but it also revealed to me the vast chasms of inequality that exist in the North Lancashire area. As time went by and through listening to hundreds of people tell me their stories of hardship, the feeling of needing to do more grew. I realised I want the place I choose to call home to be a good, thriving home for everyone who lives here, and I wouldn’t be content if I didn’t put my energy into helping to achieve that.
My new role at The Food Poverty Alliance is a fantastic avenue for me to do this. I’m out and about in the community all the time – which I love. It’s now my job to bring all kinds of different groups together and help them solve the difficulties we face, but as a collective, rather than struggle individually.
The Food Poverty Alliance’s core purpose is to advocate for and implement changes that contribute towards reducing the number of people in the Lancaster District that are affected by food poverty. We are working to deliver a five-year action plan that seeks to create a district where everyone is well fed and nourished. You can find out more about us on the FoodFutures website.
Food should absolutely not be a source of frustration for anyone, and it certainly shouldn’t be something that keeps people awake at night wondering how they’re going to pay for it. It should be something that brings people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds together, the one thing we all have in common. It’s my goal here to make those “should”s a reality.