What is food security?
Food security is a measure of the availability of food and individuals’ ability to access it.
The United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security define it as meaning that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
In January 2019 the Environmental Audit Committee found that food insecurity is significant and growing in the UK, with levels among the worst in Europe, especially for children.
Nearly 1 in 5 children under the age of 15 are living in a food insecure home.
It has become worse over the last 10 years, shown through the increased need for emergency food requirements and has become even worse with the impacts on employment around Covid.
Food insecurity for children has been in the press a lot recently with Marcus Rashford the Manchester United player throwing his weight behind the campaign to extend the school voucher scheme over the school holidays.
How is ‘The Welcome Network’ helping to combat food insecurity?
The Welcome Network are a network of community groups, charities and local authorities in West Cheshire aiming to reduce food poverty.
They have a vison for all people in West Cheshire to share affordable, accessible, good-quality food as part of thriving local communities.
The organisation was started in 2017 as a partnership between Healthbox CIC, West Cheshire Foodbanks, Citizens Advice Cheshire West and Cheshire West Voluntary Action via a grant from Cheshire West and Chester Council and have since been lucky enough to be supported with additional funding.
The organisation has provided funding to the passionate team at Incredibe Edible Handbridge, one of our Green Eco Champions to become a “Meeting Place” under its project.
Meeting Places are community spaces that bring together food, advice and support in one place so that people experiencing food poverty can access support and free or low cost food in a dignified and friendly setting.
What does Incredible Edible Handbridge have planned?
The group plans to formalise its ‘Big Soup Days’ project at Industry Chester Coworking. They will be using the funding to buy a greenhouse, a large soup kettle and more compost.
With this they will be able to grow more lovely veggies for the soup and they will be advertising the Big Soup Days soon. IEH want to thank Steph from the Welcome Network for all her support.
Keep an eye out on their Facebook Group for information on forthcoming events and Meeting Place Big Soup Days.