The West Yorkshire Food Poverty Network exists to bring together representatives from Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield District, Bradford / Keighley to tackle food insecurity more effectively in the region. Key priorities include:
- The development of networks in each area, which bring together food aid providers along with agency workers and local authorities to enact practical collaboration on the ground. This involves representatives from Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN), Feeding Bradford and Keighley, Wakefield Food Aid Network, Kirklees Emergency Food Providers Network and Calderdale Food Poverty Forum coming together to share experiences and achieve common goals, including responding to the Coronavirus pandemic
- The tackling of the root causes of food poverty through effective signposting, on location support, usually in the form of debt, money, welfare support and healthcare advice and inputting into Feeding Britain the experiences of people on the ground in West Yorkshire to enable policy change.
- Development of effective signposting tools which are either online or paper based so that people can assess emergency food provision.
- See that food is distributed effectively across the region working with key food distributors such as FareShare Yorkshire and Rethink Food.
- Support the development of healthy holiday provision which includes local authorities working with the Department of Education and more independently run initiatives to provide food and activities to children during school holidays.
- Promote Healthy Start vouchers which have recently increased in value.
Achievements to date
Protecting people from hunger
- Each area has delivered food and/or activity projects during key school holidays. Bradford and Keighley supported 30 holiday clubs across their regions using funds distributed by Leeds Community Foundation.
- Leeds Supported 40 projects across Easter and summer in conjunction with Fareshare and Revival Food.
Supporting people in crisis
- The Welcome Centre in Kirklees has recruited an Advice Manager and developed an onsite Advice and Guidance service providing budgeting and benefits support as well as access to grant funding.
- Wakefield Food Aid Network has workers based at key food providers offering wrap-around support. They provide a booklet of services and partners to help signpost clients.
- Bradford has used funding from Feeding Britain to provide an advice worker across 4 food projects.
- Fareshare Yorkshire supports 160 food providers via its warehouses in Leeds. They also provide a Fareshare Go service where community groups can access surplus food from Tesco and Asda and can support people living in poverty.
WYFPN became part of Feeding Britain to
- Learn from other areas
- Feed into the national picture
- Improve existing work across our 6 regions
- Develop new activities such as improving access to low-cost food, building food security and developing new ways to protect people from hunger.
Feeding Bradford & Keighley:
Feeding Bradford & Keighley (FB&K) is a membership organisation with over 90 member organisations or individuals who are working to address food poverty across the district. We share ideas, promote best practice, collate information and work on joint projects together. In March 2020 Keighley Food Poverty Action Partnership joined Feeding Bradford to form a network covering the whole of our metropolitan district. Our vision is a Bradford District free of food poverty where people have access to affordable good food. FB&K has been an independent pilot group of Feeding Britain since 2017, sharing ideas and good practice across the country, working in partnership to do larger joint funding bids and feeding into the national political agenda.
Key work area include
- Supporting the development of low cost food provision across the district and exciting developments of the food savers work (low cost food markets and credit union project spearheaded by two of our steering group)
- Promoting and develop holiday provision activities and food for children
- Partaking in Feeding Britain’s Pathways out of poverty programme to put an advice worker directly into food settings.
- Supporting foodbanks to work together better and supporting the development of a one-stop information website for our local foodbanks and other food providers
- Supporting crisis meal providers to work together and be informed of services available to support their guests
Kirklees Emergency Food Providers Network – info to follow
Wakefield Food Aid Network – info to follow
Calderdale Food Poverty Forum:
The Calderdale Food Poverty Forum is a network of different representatives tackling food poverty. The network launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic and the increased need for emergency food. The pandemic put significant pressure on food provision, Calderdale’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) mobilised and adapted their services to ensure vulnerable people were not going hungry.
Calderdale currently has 15 independent VCS local services in operation, using various models including, food banks, food share, community kitchens and a community fridge. The forum operates an open membership and welcomes all organisations that are striving to make a difference.
The forum allows members to take a whole systems approach to food poverty, bringing stakeholders together to develop a shared understanding of the challenge and to bring about sustainable change via:
- Increased coordination between food support providers
- New and innovative ways of working together
- Integrated and targeted preventative action
- Evidence of needs across Calderdale
The Food Poverty Forum links with strategic attempts to address poverty, for example, Calderdale’s Anti-Poverty Steering Group and campaigns such as Never Hungry Again and Healthy Holidays.
Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN): The Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN) has existed officially since the start of 2014. A whole range of food aid providers, agencies, Council workers, volunteers, Church-based initiatives and members of other faith communities are brought together to work together on enacting the same / similar priorities detailed above. Many Food Providers work in partnership with FareShare Yorkshire and Rethink Food who distribute food to many places across the City. Food Aid Providers range from large scale operations such as Leeds South and East and Leeds North and West Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust to smaller providers such as Neruka’s Soup Kitchen and Soup and More. Leeds FAN is part of Foodwise Leeds, an initiative to improve the entire food system in Leeds. There has been a strong coordinated response to the pandemic which included 2 citywide delivery schemes happening at any given time and the involvement of 30 Covid19 hubs which have sourced food, health supplies and enacted welfare calls for many vulnerable people. For more info see leedsfoodaidnetwork.co.uk or email email@example.com. See diagram to demonstrate operations.
Fareshare Yorkshire – FareShare Yorkshire Food Distribution: The different parts of West Yorkshire will seek to distribute food to where it’s needed utilising the facilities of FareShare Yorkshire and other partner Food Redistributors across the region. FareShare Yorkshire works with the food industry and distributes food to over 400 providers across the region, from its warehouses in Leeds and Barnsley. In addition, community groups are able to access food through the FareShare Go scheme which enables them to collect surplus perishable foods from supermarket stores. This can then be used to support people who need access to food to support them through difficult situations. It’s been highlighted that non-perishable food can be a real issue during the spring and summer months and therefore will seek to be proactive in running additional food collections including encouraging businesses and council workers to collect non-perishable food. Finally, food providers will share surplus with each other when they have it especially during the autumn when donations come in through Harvest time and during winter when many benefit from Christmas donations. It’s at these times when surplus food is more available to share because more of it is around.