From October of 2021, we have been working to deliver events supporting the reestablishment of the Stirling Food Partnership. This means supporting local people and organisations in working towards tackling issues such as food poverty and diet-related ill health; promoting healthy and sustainable food; and building community knowledge and resources. These goals are aligned with the Sustainable Food Places framework for action.
Since the reestablishment of the Stirling Food Partnership began, 23 organisations have engaged with events. This includes public sector organisations, specifically Stirling Council and NHS Forth Valley, as well as a wider range of third sector organisations, spanning food larders, community development trusts, and social enterprises.
Ultimately, we want to re-engage partners across all sectors to form a committed Partnership and governing group; secure investment for a regional coordinator and work towards a comprehensive Forth Valley-wide approach; and develop a draft Food Action Plan to deliver Good Food For All.
Our event held during Challenge Poverty Week, shared research conducted by NHS Forth Valley, Forth Environment Link, and BiGGAR Economics on sustainable and dignified solutions to food insecurity in Forth Valley.
Towards the end of October, we had our first in-person event: a workshop in partnership with Nourish Scotland, as part of the Scottish Government ‘Local Food for Everyone’ consultation. As well as informing the Government consultation, this also helped shape Stirling Food Partnership development by providing insight into specific needs of Stirlingshire’s local people and food organisations.
We held an interactive workshop specifically aimed at partners wishing to commit to the SFP steering group.
One of our short-term aims was to secure investment for a regional coordinator. Forth Environment Link have been awarded funds from Good Food For All to support this, and will be hiring a coordinator to start in April. It is hoped that by maximising locally available employability funds this approach can be sustained during the year.
Although the Stirling Food Partnership has to cater specifically to the needs of Stirling, in terms of links across Forth Valley we are working closely with the Clackmannanshire Food Partnership and will take a similar approach to work with Falkirk. Clackmannanshire Food Partnership are also hiring a coordinator, and Forth Environment Link will host both roles.
Draft action plan in progress
1 year: ‘action-focused’, ‘growing membership and building consensus’, ‘shared ownership and accountability’, ‘inclusive’
3 year: ‘collaborative and joined up’, ‘change-making’, ‘impactful’, ‘setting ambitious targets’
The draft action plan is being shaped around the outcomes of Stirling Food Partnership discussions. In the first year, the focus is likely to be on the continued development of the Partnership and how this is shaped by the core steering group and wider members.
Participants were asked how they would like to describe the SFP in one year and in three years. In one year, quotes from participants included ‘action-focused’, ‘growing membership and building consensus’, ‘shared ownership and accountability’, and ‘inclusive’.
For three years, they then said ‘collaborative and joined up’, ‘change-making’, ‘impactful’, and ‘setting ambitious targets’.