COVID-19 emergency food programme

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are running an emergency food programme to protect children and their families from hunger. Hot meals and food packages are being made available, through a combination of home deliveries and collection points in the community, to ensure families on low incomes can put breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table each day. A donation of just £10 can purchase the equivalent of 30 meals for a family at risk of hunger.

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“Our Borough is a place where everyone has the right to the food they need to thrive.”

The mission

Feeding Barnsley’s vision is of a better Barnsley where everyone has the right to the food they need to thrive. To achieve this vision the network aims to:

  • Be connected – work in genuine partnerships across the private, public and community sector which focus on action to deliver our vision.
  • Be local – always promote the sustainable production and consumption of local food and seek to celebrate a vibrant local food system.
  • Be global – find local solutions to global problems. We will seek to reduce, reuse and redistribute surplus food. We will also work with the UK food redistribution network to best serve the people of Barnsley and amplify our voice and achievements at a national level.
  • Be engaging – in everything we do we will celebrate choice and help people choose the best things for them.
  • Be positive – food and the people of Barnsley are good. We seek to support asset-based projects and stories which keep us focused on the things we can achieve

How we work

The Barnsley Food Access Network was established in 2017 to bring together organisations and individuals helping Barnsley residents who are on low incomes to access food. The network sits within Barnsley council’s Stronger Communities Partnership and Anti-Poverty Delivery Group. The network is steered by a smaller group of partners from private, public, and third sectors who are committed to developing food access in Barnsley.

The group drives Barnsley’s ‘Food Poverty ‘ response, which it has positively reframed as ‘Food Access’. They seek to support the development of partnerships across the private, public and community sector to focus their joint and individual activities. By coordinating efforts and sharing resources they aim to ensure Barnsley citizens have access to the food they need to enjoy happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

What we’ve achieved

Key activities implemented by the Barnsley Food Access Network include:

  • Mapping of Food provision for Barnsley residents on low income/facing financial hardship
  • Project to increase uptake of Healthy Start vouchers
  • Delivery of Alexandra Rose food voucher scheme
  • FRESH street voucher scheme to increase fruit and vegetable intake
  • Coordinated community delivery of school holiday activities with food

What’s next

In the coming year the Food Access Network will be extending and developing their school holiday activities with food provision. Further plans are also underway to develop a Barnsley “Community Pantry” model with the aim to build food security, improve accessibility and develop community based networks for longer term support.

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