Hartlepool Food Partnership

Hartlepool Food Partnership's vision is for healthy, affordable, sustainable food for everyone in Hartlepool.

The Partnership is open to anyone - through attendance at regular Open Forum meetings. Regular newsletters also facilitate input from interested citizens and organisations. The Partnership steering group is responsible for implementing Hartlepool's Food Plan, co-ordination of all activities and monitoring progress & impact. The steering group is responsible for the Open Forums & newsletters and oversees the work of the Partnership co-ordinator.

The Hartlepool Food Partnership emerged from a discussion between Hartlepool's Director of Public Health and a VCS network of low/no cost food providers - the Hartlepool Food Council - which expressed a willingness to develop a food partnership for the town. The Borough Council was very clear that they should not lead the Food Partnership, but contribute as an equal partner to a wider collaboration. Consequently, the Partnership steering group consisted of representatives from voluntary and statutory organisations - which identified stakeholders, organised a whole system launch event, from which the Food Plan was drafted, and secured initial 2 years' funding for coordination, Partnership events and a small grants fund to support new initiatives that align with the Food Plan's goals.

What we do

Hartlepool Food Partnership activities so far include:

  • Communication with stakeholders, via the new Hartlepool Food Partnership website, social media, email newsletter and a survey of community priorities regarding food, as well as existing services such as Hartlepool Now, Hartlepool Life and Hartbeat
  • A Full day System-Wide Event in May, attended by more than 50 people, where co-production of the Hartlepool Food Plan commenced. Representation included people from various council departments, VCS, schools, colleges, universities, local community groups/residents and farming.
  • A June Open Forum for feedback on a one-page draft food plan with a deep dive into the growing food theme, which attracted 25 people and included an outside speaker from Barefoot Kitchen.
  • Refining the Hartlepool Food Plan. Themes include:
  1. Supporting local food growing, to increase access to local healthy food, increase physical and mental health and build knowledge and skills
  2. Working with local businesses and supply chains to facilitate residents’ access to local, affordable, healthy and sustainable food
  3. Encouraging and enabling children, and people of all ages, to eat nutritious, sustainable food, by understanding what helps, and addressing any barriers (including availability, cooking facilities, skills and opportunity)
  4. Creating and celebrating a good food culture, by using inclusive existing or new events, with good food, bringing together different cultures and generations
  5. Establishing effective local food governance, with involvement in the Food Partnership open to all
  • A September Open Forum regarding children and food, including barriers to healthy eating and sharing of good practice. Due to interest, a children’s subgroup of the partn
  • Action on quick wins including:
    • Sharing information on affordable food (e.g. sharing low/no cost food leaflet on our website)
    • Sharing newly identified opportunities for growing in schools/allotments (e.g. in the Food Partnership newsletter and Hartlepool Life – 12th Jul page 26) and personally connecting people who can offer mutual support
    • Mapping of food providers with the aim to support people looking for local healthy supply of food (e.g. caterers, public and Holiday, Activities and Food Programme providers) and exploration of other available food data
    • Supporting the Town’s Fairtrade Renewal Application