Sustainable Food Cities for Herefordshire

Those of you who came along to our July HGN Gathering about local food security will be pleased to see more information here from Kristen Prichard. Kristen works as a Health Improver Practitioner with Herefordshire Council and is currently moving Herefordshire towards a Sustainable Food City (SFC) award.

Across the globe, communities at every scale have recognised the key role food can play in dealing with some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges and are taking a joined up approach to transforming their food culture and food system.

From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity loss to declining prosperity and social dislocation, food is not only at the heart of some of our greatest problems but is also a vital part of the solution.

The Sustainable Food Cities approach involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.

Kristen is in the initial stages of mapping activity across the county and is really keen to celebrate the great things going on by achieving a SFC award for the county.

Further information can be found here: http://sustainablefoodcities.org/about

Mapping Household Food Insecurity in Herefordshire

This week HGN welcomed three inspiring speakers to share information about the important work they are doing in Herefordshire to address issues of food insecurity and poverty. 

Mary Burton from Brightspace Foundation, Harry King from the Wellbeing Cafe and Kristan Pritchard from Herefordshire Council’s Public Health team discussed their three different and complementary approaches to tackling the complex and interrelated issues of food waste, food insecurity, child poverty, and obesity in Herefordshire. 

With some shocking statistics about the levels of food waste – and heart-breaking insights into poverty, and child hunger – the workshop looked particularly at what is already happening in Herefordshire to address these issues, and what more the HGN audience of around 30 people felt should or could be happening. 

‘Good Food for All’ – an alliance of local organisations led by the Brightspace Foundation – aims to ascertain the scale of food poverty and insecurity in Herefordshire, and develop shared strategies to address the problem. For anyone who would like to know more please look at Brightspace Foundation’s website: https://www.brightspacefoundation.org.uk/our-projects/social-cultural/good-food-all

Kristan Pritchard from Herefordshire Council introduced the audience to the Sustainable Food Cities model they are hoping to introduce in Hereford. The award will mean:

  • Promoting healthy and sustainable food 
  • Tackling food poverty, diet related ill health, and access to affordable healthy food
  • Building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects
  • Promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy 
  • Transforming catering and food procurement
  • Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system 

Kristan and her colleagues are working closely with Brightspace Foundation and other agencies locally, and this very positive step from Herefordshire’s Public Health team combines sustainability approaches with strategies to meet local public health needs. For more information see:  http://sustainablefoodcities.org/about 

And .. after a chance conversation in February of this year, Harry King and Yasmin Price were inspired into action to tackle food poverty and food waste locally, and have developed ‘The Wellbeing Cafe’ – an exciting and dynamic new project that will be making use of food waste in Hereford city to feed school age children during the ‘Hungry Holiday” gap this August.

The Wellbeing Cafe’s goal is to combat household food insecurity and its subsequent health inequalities through the provision of healthy, affordable food that everyone can access. The project is looking for supporters, volunteers and users – and will be making free meals available to all under 17 year olds from Wednesday – Saturday each week during August, alongside a programme of free holiday club workshops (such as cooking, arts, and crafts). The Cafe will be at Castle Green Pavillion, and for more information see: https://www.facebook.com/TheWellbeingCafeHereford/  

… Some inspirational stories and projects that aim to tackle the injustice of this ever growing issue in food-producing Herefordshire. Our audience went away keen to support the work of those who are involved. 

Our speakers (left to right) Mary Burton, Kristan Prichard and Harry King.

Thanks as always to Natalia and Left Bank Village for supporting this event.

Hereford Food Bank is Moving!

From Monday, June 3rd, 2019 we will operate from 41, Monkmoor Street, Hereford, HR1 2DX.

Larger premises will enable us to sustain and improve our service both to those who need our support and to those who enable us to function by staffing the foodbank, by collecting and delivering food and other items to us and by assisting us in so many other ways. 

Contact/referral arrangements will continue as at present, but our telephone number is changing too – from June 3rd it will be 01432 352674.  

Parking provision for drop-off/collection, though limited, is an improvement on our current situation, and we will be in easy reach of bus routes, taxi ranks, carparks, etc. The new premises are at the junction of Coningsby Street and Monkmoor Street. Vehicular access is via Coningsby Street from Widemarsh Street. Pedestrians can also locate us by turning into Monkmoor Street next to “Mr. Chips” in Commercial Road or by walking through the old graveyard next to the Merton Hotel, also on Commercial Road. 

We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us in the establishment of our new premises, especially Hereford Community Foundation, Tudors Building Supplies, Alcocks and Marches Law.

Food Co-ops

One of Sustain’s projects which aims to build a network of community food co-ops and food buying groups across the UK to help new groups get off the ground and existing ones to thrive. Food co-ops, food buying groups, food clubs and food groups are terms that are used interchangeably to describe a food outlet that is run on a […]

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CPRE Mapping Local Food Webs Toolkit

Mapping your local “food web” – the connections between producers, retailers and consumers – highlights its importance for your local economy, landscape and community. This toolkit (downloadable from the website) provides all the materials and guidance you will need for a successful project.

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Ledbury Food Group

All about local food in and around the Herefordshire market town of Ledbury. Ledbury Food Group is a local voluntary group that knows the importance and role of local food and drink. They encourage their wider community to discover the “food heroes” who bring to us the fruits of the land, traditional cider and perry, rare breed livestock, artisan foods […]

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Herefordshire Food Links

An on-line directory to help you find Herefordshire produce you already know about and introduce you to some you don’t, either direct from the producer or from some of the fantastic shops and markets within the county. Herefordshire is renowned for its wonderful, rural landscape and rich, fertile red soil. This gives huge diversity to the fabulous food and drink […]

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In Our Hands – Land & Food Links

Thanks to all who came to the Courtyard last night for the showing of In Our Hands. It was great to see many new faces and to carry the conversation on afterwards… and let’s keep that conversation going!

Please get in touch if you are part of any organisation producing food, locally and on a small scale. Let’s share what we’re doing… there was talk of a shared mill last night, perhaps this is already happening?

Herefordshire Food Links is an online directory for local businesses, food producers, retailers etc. Add yourselves to the Directory online at the “Join” section of the site at this link.

Please share In Our Hands – the film. It’s now available to buy (including digitally) – what an ace Christmas Gift!  This is an exceptionally important time to be listening to, and speaking up for, small scale ecological producers and the film is both a joy to watch and inspiring.

More information on the movement to fix our food systems:

Landworkers Alliance – a network of small and medium farmers in the UK, linked to the huge Via Campesina global movement

This Land is Ours: A Landrights Campaign for Britain

At EU Level:  The Good Food Good Farming Campaign.

Next month:  our gathering will be all about building our capacity for campaigns like this – Raising Funds, and Publicising what we do. If you’ve ever thought ‘I wish more people knew what we do’ this is for YOU! More here.

And all these links – plus your OWN if you are a small producer! will be found very soon in our new resources area. Watch this space!

The Future of our Food

May’s Monthly Gathering was packed last night as we explored and celebrated the future of small farming with the exquisite film In Our Hands.

Thanks for coming, thanks for bringing energy and ideas to the room and for your ‘what next’ thoughts. Thanks also to The Bookshop for hosting and for Holland for her fantastic food, all from local producers.

…which brings us to the first of three actions…

Eat Local Food!

Mentioned last night was Big Barn – it’s a perfect resource to find local food producers and outlets but it could definitely do with more info about our area! If you’re a producer – please add yourself – and encourage other outlets to mention you if they sell your stock!

If you know a great producer who’s not on there – get them to add themselves! It does have a cost – £40 a year but with more Herefordshire producers, we the network can embed this in our site and encourage others to do the same. If you are a small producer but sell at the Farmer’s Market – they can mention you there. Let’s fill that map with our amazing producers.

Get the Film Seen!

Next local opportunity will be Saturday July 14th at Leominster Community Centre. Email beth@greenschoolsproject.org.uk if you’d like to supply produce, or help make it happen.   It would also be great to have a good Green Network presence there so email  events@hgnetwork.org if you’d like to volunteer.

Each of the stories in the film has their own website to explore… including a beautifully written grower’s blog from Ru Litherland… And you can read more about the huge international movement of small farmers mentioned in the film; we are in good company…

If you are a small farmer – consider joining the Landworker’s Alliance to be part of this global network pushing for better farming,

Take Local and National Action

Linking into the discussions about schools’ procurement… here is the People’s Food Policy that we could use as a starting point for developing something more local.  Also mentioned last night was Herefordshire Food Link – any more information or updates on that please get in touch and perhaps these things can work together and build what’s already been started…

Tell our decision makers – the benefits of small farms ahead of the discussion on a new bill in the Autumn.  Email events@hgnetwork.org to be part of group action around this.

 

Thanks again for coming – see you at June’s gathering (20th June) where we will be checking in with the Plastics Action Here team, the Divest Parliament team and we’ll have a workshop on Sociocracy too.

Thanks!

 

Food Rescue – what next..

This is a call out to those of you who came along to our HGN Gathering on Food Rescue in January…

Along with the Herefordshire Food Poverty Alliance we are starting an exciting conversation about developing some funded local projects. Many of you had projects that you were beginning to set up or talked about that evening: a local community fridge, a local food hub, food social clubs, school holiday food clubs, local gleaning projects and also of course a local Food Rescue inspired by the work of Worcester Food Rescue.

If you have bright ideas and local connections or would just like to be part of taking these conversions further please could you get in touch asap (email kate@hgnetwork.org), so that we can make sure that your project idea is firmly in the pot as funding bids are developed.

Please pass this message on to others who you think might otherwise miss it…

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