West Northamptonshire is a new local authority area created with the abolition of the former county of Northamptonshire. The new food places partnership aims to improve the quality of how food is produced, sold and used in our area, for people of all incomes, through a dynamic multi-agency partnership drawn from all sectors.
Broad in ambition and committed to ensuring everyone, including those on the lowest incomes, gets access to good food, the partnership is hungry to achieve change. We want to see real change in local food systems, with increased local growing, food literacy, and access to good food.
Hosted by a local anti-poverty charity, Hope, and co-chaired by Hope's CEO and the lead for Northampton Transition Town group, the working group has built into a strong co-ordination and oversight body and secured funding for a development worker. we believe our palcement in an area that combines a large rural area but also a town that is as big as many cities, Northampton, offers new opportunities and new ways to improve the sustainability of local food.
We are working on a range of efforts to define our priorities across the six key domains of the SFP programme.
Our priorities include a proper focus on ensuring people in need or on low incomes get enough to eat, addressed through the linked local Food Aid Alliance; developing and expanding the amount of local growing on urban and peri-urban land, and through sustainable farming, building the local alliance of growing projects; expanding the role of education, including those training for work in the food industry through local colleges; developing locla food supply chains, based around the dual potential fo the area's distribution hub status and also its huge rural production area; public health messaging, raising awareness of good food, how to cook and eat healthility, including tackling obesity; and real action to develop improved access to good food through developing a local artisan foodmarket in the centre of Northampton, showcasing our area's proud rural and farming heritage and wealth of local artisan production of food.
Its early days for us, of course, and covid has not helped us develop our work! But as the days pass we have ambitions for much more in the way of public events and activities for everyone to get involved in. Watch this space!