Arun & Chichester Food Partnership

The Arun & Chichester Food Partnership was set up in November 2020 with the initial aims of alleviating the rising food poverty in the region and tackling its root causes. It has since broadened its reach to explore wider food systems issues, with our overarching mission being to make good food accessible to all across Arun and Chichester. 

The partnership brings together voluntary and community sector organisation leaders and local authority representatives at both county and district level. There are two part-time Development Officers hosted by Citizens Advice Arun & Chichester. The co-chairs of the Steering Group are Pam Bushby from Chichester District Council and Jane Haskins from Clarion Futures.

What we do

Following community mapping and consultation with organisations, residents and wider stakeholders, we created a Good Food Strategy for Arun and Chichester with an accompanying action plan following our strategic priorities:

- household food security

- food that is good for our health

- food that is good for the planet

- food that creates, reflects and celebrates our communities

- food that is good for our economy and creates local resilience

We have set up local community food networks and groups to take a place-based approach to these areas and are steered by the needs of the communities we are working within. 

Past work has included:

- Holding and supporting various events to bring communities together over good food, such as the Petworth Good Food days, an intergenerational community meal in Bognor Regis and community outreach across the districts to capture local residents' views on what is wanted and needed in their neighbourhoods.

- Raising awareness of the Healthy Start scheme through working with Public Health to produce leaflets and posters for community settings, embedding information about the scheme into core Citizen's Advice Benefits training, providing training sessions for frontline groups and producing a bite-sized training video.

- Linking frontline community food providers with advice services to provide advice directly at settings, supporting people to increase their income and reduce reliance on emergency food.

- Designing and administering a £40,000 grants programme for community groups to increase the amount of free food they are able to provide during the cost of living crisis. 

Current projects include:

- a partnership pilot with social prescribing teams to increase access to community food growing spaces in areas with high health inequalities. This is part of a wider project to widen participation in community food growing and increase confidence in growing your own food. 

- setting up a website to widen our reach and be better positioned to foster a local good food movement

- exploring ways to increase access to good food and support in isolated rural communities.