“Feeding Birkenhead, Supporting Wirral is a coalition of churches, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger in Birkenhead.”
The Feeding Birkenhead, Supporting Wirral group has developed an extensive network of Affordable Food Clubs. Specialist Advice Workers are available within food projects, as part of the Pathways from Poverty programme, and families are supported all year round through school holiday programmes of food and fun.
Feeding Birkenhead is a coalition of churches, food banks, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger in Birkenhead. The central aim of Feeding Birkenhead’s work is to provide decent meals to as many people in need as possible, while also seeking to prevent that need from arising again over the longer term. Feeding Birkenhead campaigns for its local successes to impact national policy reform as quickly as possible so that all families in need are helped.
How we work
Established by Frank Field in 2014, the coalition now has a core group of 16 organisations, with active participation from the local authority.
Feeding Birkenhead adopts a dynamic approach to tackling hunger in the local community. Quarterly meetings are held for all members of the group. Each member has an opportunity to report back on the causes and extent of hunger they are witnessing on the ground. An action plan is then put together in response to these local priorities.
What we’ve achieved
Key activities implemented by Feeding Birkenhead include:
- Food Bank plus
- Fuel Bank
- School Holiday meals and activities
- Breakfast clubs
- Automatic registration for free school meals
- Early opportunity on council tax debt
- Reformed welfare contract
Over the coming years Feeding Birkenhead will focus on extending the life and reach of their food bank plus and fuel bank projects, ensuring that their school holiday meals and activities programme continues to be available to all children in the most deprived parts of Birkenhead, and sustaining regular supplies of food for school breakfast clubs.
Two new projects were launched in 2018:
Citizens’ supermarket: A sub-group of Feeding Birkenhead has developed a nonprofit Citizen’s Supermarket. The non-profit food shop utilises good quality surplus food supplies to enable individuals and families on low incomes to purchase food at heavily reduced prices.
Hot food for the homeless: In partnership with Wirral Council, Wirral Ways of Recovery, and YMCA Homeless, vouchers will be distributed to the homeless by a variety of professionals, entitling them to a hot meal at Nightingale’s café.
In addition, Feeding Birkenhead will attempt to build a safety net that counters poverty in all forms, through projects such as the Pink Box campaign which ensures sanitary products can be accessed by young women from families on low incomes.
Related Materials & Resources
Levels of local food insecurity
According to the University of Sheffield’s research into local food insecurity of adults (Jan 2021), in Wirral:
- 3.00% of adults suffered from hunger
- 15.84% struggled to access food
- 9.40% worried about not having enough food
About this research:
The University of Sheffield have published statistics of UK adult food insecurity at Local Authority scale. You can view the map of measures of food insecurity here.
Hungry is defined as having skipped food for a whole day or more in the previous month or indicated they were hungry but not eaten because they could not afford or get access to food.
Struggle is defined as a positive response to at least one of the following:
- Sought help accessing food
- Skipped or shrank meal
- Gave a reason for not having enough food
Worry is defined as choosing very worried or fairly worried about getting food.