Getting recognition and support for local food partnerships
Food partnerships play a vital role during the best of times, but this role has never been more crucial. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed and exacerbated the vulnerabilities we face from across our food systems and within our communities. We have seen an amazing response to the crisis from many food partnerships, in collaboration with local authorities and Local Resilience Forums. However, in many cases this collaboration has been hampered by a lack of full recognition of the role that food partnerships can play, and by the serious financial challenges faced by both the partnerships and their respective local authorities.
In an effort to really highlight the vital role played by local food partnerships to national, devolved and local government, this year’s Day of Celebration and Action on June 10th will showcase the incredible work partnerships are doing across the Network as they strive to meet the needs arising from the crisis.
With our collective voice, we can put the full weight of the Network behind this letter. If you are part of, or have worked with a local food partnership we are asking you to share what you’re most proud of in working to create a better food system for everyone in these challenging times. Whether it is coordinating emergency food provision, supporting local producers or providing ways to get involved as a food volunteer in your community, we want to showcase all the amazing activity happening across the Sustainable Food Places Network. By organising a day when we can shout about all that we have achieved, we believe that food partnerships across the UK can secure the recognition and support of both national and local governments they so clearly deserve.
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The ‘Building a food partnership’ theme of the SFP Toolkit – the pink section – contains resources to help you establish an appropriate and representative food partnership. In particular these resources will be useful:
Get the right people involved by encouraging and planning Stakeholder engagement and steering groups
Sustain's Food and Covid-19: How local authorities can support recovery and resilience report highlights three key areas that contribute to a strong local response: principles, processes and partnerships.
Bristol Food Policy Council secured strong references to food in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The HWB has a key strategic aim to use ‘our combined influence and commissioning to support work to tackle obesity, nutritional deficiency and food poverty’. The Health and Wellbeing Strategy has 10 key priorities, one of which is food (page 5). The aim is ‘to create a healthier, more sustainable, more resilient food system for the city to benefit the local economy and the environment’.