Category: News

Feeding Liverpool Launch New Community Food Spaces Video

Feeding Liverpool wants everyone to have access to good food and works with various organisations across the city who help to provide this.

There are over 60 different community food spaces in Liverpool including pantries, community shops, community markets, the Queen of Greens mobile greengrocer and places that provide meals.

Community food spaces enable people to have access to groceries and household items at an affordable cost, which can be especially helpful to those who may be struggling financially.

Feeding Liverpool have created a new Community Food Spaces Video to help highlight the support offered at such organisations and draw attention to their place within the community.

The video mentions the positives of attending a community food space, supplying information about how they operate and their ability to cater to individual needs.

The video also gives prominence to the wider support that community food spaces offer and their capability to contribute to the local community. Many organisations enable people to meet others in the area, save money on their bills, volunteer their time and tackle food waste.

Feeding Liverpool have a Community Food Spaces webpage, which contains a map of organisations across the city and their information. These resources can also be found on the Feeding Liverpool App.

Watch the video here.

Upcoming Changes at Feeding Liverpool

A message from our chair Kevin Peacock

Following a fantastic five years, in which Feeding Liverpool has grown to be making a real difference across Liverpool, we are today announcing that Dr Naomi Maynard will be leaving us.

 

Naomi is leaving us for family reasons.  As Trustees, we are fully aware of these reasons and wholly supportive of her very difficult decision to leave.  Naomi and her family are taking up a new opportunity to live and work in India, a place very close to Naomi’s heart.  I know that they will use their unique gifts to support people and tackle injustice in their new setting – just as they have in their time in Liverpool.

 

Naomi will continue her work with us until the end of June, before leaving for India in July.  She will be reducing her duties during June to focus on a smooth transition.

 

We will properly celebrate Naomi’s work in due course, but she will leave Feeding Liverpool a radically different and better organisation than when she started by writing our newsletter five years ago!

 

Under her leadership we have empowered the voices of many people who struggle to put food on their table; supported and enabled innovative community food spaces to make a difference in their neighbourhoods; and increased our collective understanding of food insecurity in Liverpool.  The open-hearted way in which she has worked has gathered a network of people collaborating in new and effective ways.

 

We will all undoubtedly miss Naomi’s vision, character and skills.  I know Naomi will view her work as incomplete and would encourage us to push on towards our vision of good food for all in our city.  As Trustees, we agree, and look forward to working with you on the next chapter of Feeding Liverpool’s story.

If you would like to arrange a conversation with a trustee in light of this announcement, please do contact our Office and Finance Administrator Gentian Khan.

The Queen of Greens Launches New Expanded Route

The Queen of Greens Bus – a mobile greengrocer that brings affordable fresh fruit and vegetables to communities across Liverpool and Knowsley – has increased its route to 40 stops.

Run by Feeding Liverpool and Alchemic Kitchen, the Queen of Greens has been a huge success since its launch in late 2022, aiming to boost access to healthy food and help tackle health inequalities.

Initially visiting 29 stops each week, the bus provides people with a better opportunity to shop for nutritious food closer to their home or workplace. Indeed, the route stops at schools, health centres and community centres that are located in neighbourhoods classed as ‘food deserts’; these are areas whose residents have to travel more than a kilometre or walk a significant distance in order to reach a supermarket providing produce.

Lucy Antal, Senior Project Manager at Feedback Global:

“You might not have the money to get a supermarket delivery because there is usually a minimum spend. The public transport option might not be suitable, you might not have access to a car, so you are having to use part of your household budget to spend on taxis.”

By making it easier for people to access healthier food, the bus is serving to reduce health inequalities and improve both the nutrition and life chances of those living in communities where food insecurity and barriers to food access have been identified.

Only 1 in 2 adults in Liverpool eat the recommended 5 fruit and vegetables each day – a figure that drops to 12% among 11-18 year olds. An estimated third of adults in Liverpool are also food insecure, which means that food is a source of worry, frustration or stress for them. Both Everton and Kirkby are among the 10 most economically deprived food deserts in England, with 77% of Knowsley also being considered a food desert.

The bus’s partners, therefore, have worked with Liverpool City Council, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, The Life Rooms, Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership, Community Health Partnerships, Torus Foundation, Knowsley social housing provider Livv Housing Group and the Alexandra Rose Charity to ensure the route reaches a wide community audience.

The buses have a fixed weekly schedule and are operated on a day-to-day basis by greengrocer Paul Flannery, who has been a part of the project since its inception. Paul visits Liverpool’s wholesale market in the early hours each morning and stocks the bus for the day, priding himself on offering competitive prices and selling the produce loose in order to cut down on both waste and packaging. Aside from selling, Paul also uses his 40 years of experience in the fruit and veg business to offer cooking tips and encourage shoppers to discover different food varieties.

Elena Vacca, Project Manager at Feeding Liverpool:

“Paul is great with customers. If they get on the bus and they have never tried a particular fruit or vegetable before, he will open it up and let them have a taste.”

Paul Flannery, Greengrocer:

You get a lot of people who know about the bus, look forward to coming to the bus, and when they come here they meet other people who are in the same situation as themselves. Eventually, they’ll say: ‘What’s that?’ I’ll say: ‘It’s a butternut squash and this is how you cook it.’ They’ll come back the next week and say: ‘That was lovely that.’ Then some people will get on the bus who don’t know each other and they’ll say: ‘I had that last week. If I was you, I’d cook it this way.’ It’s about people getting to know each other, it’s just to get people to eat healthy. That’s what I’m passionate about.”

Aside from carrying recipe cards on the bus with healthy ideas, Feeding Liverpool and Feedback Global also run cookery courses to help people make meals on a budget.

A significant proportion of customers who use the bus receive government Healthy Start Cards and/or Alexandra Rose Charity vouchers – all of which can be used to pay onboard.

A lot of customers at the primary schools, children centres and hospitals that the bus stops at have young children and appreciate that the bus allows them to buy items that would otherwise be too expensive to get, such as berries.

Clare, a mother who is a customer at the Everton Children’s Centre stop:

“[The produce] lasts a lot longer than it does in the supermarkets and that is why I look forward to coming here.”

Charlotte, another mother who is a customer at the Everton Children’s Centre stop:

“It means – especially when you have a young child – that you don’t have to go out to the shops, because it is not easy navigating little children with everything that you can see there.”

The scheme has already made a huge difference, not just to those who are struggling, but to anyone who appreciates the convenience of having a greengrocers on their doorstep.

Elena Vacca:

“Anyone can get on our bus – there are no restrictions about who can use it – so although we do reach a lot of families, we also stop off at places where staff and teachers use it too. We also partnered with the University of Liverpool on its ‘Feel Good February’ event to deliver fruit and veg bags for its students and we’re planning to add a stop outside the university when we expand. It’s about making healtheir fresh food eating more available, both physically and financially, because we feel that everyone deserves to have access to good food and the response we’ve had has been fantastic.”

The key supporters and funders of the Queen of Greens are Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool City Council, Torus Foundation and Life Rooms. New funding means that the service will not only be able to add additional stops – going into areas including Norris Green, Vauxhall and Croxteth – but that a second bus and greengrocer can be acquired in order to extend the current timetable.

Elena Vacca:

At the moment, we can only run until about 1:30pm because Paul starts at 5am but, with the extra funding, we can now launch in the afternoon so that when families are picking up their kids from school we can stop there and they can get what they need at the same time.”

Paul Flannery:

“It’s all about affordability and giving people what they want. That’s how I look at it. If you can afford a certain amount of stuff to feed your family at an affordable price, then I’m happy with that.”

The new route will launch from Monday 25th March (excluding Bank Holidays).

Read more about the Queen of Greens Bus expansion in this article by The Guide Liverpool and in this BBC News piece.

Follow the Queen of Greens Bus on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

(Photo credits to Rob Battersby)

Feeding Liverpool’s Director Awarded High Sheriff of Merseyside Award

On Tuesday 5th March, Feeding Liverpool’s Director Dr Naomi Maynard was awarded a High Sheriff of Merseyside Award for services to the community.

 

Feeding Liverpool have worked closely with Dr Ruth Hussey CB OBE DL the High Sheriff of Merseyside during her year in office, sharing her passion for tackling health inequalities across the region.

During the awards ceremony, Dr Ruth Hussey praised the work of Feeding Liverpool in driving forward the Good Food Plan and supporting people and projects that seek to tackle food insecurity and improve access to good food in Liverpool.

Dr Ruth Hussey said:

“I am delighted to present Dr Naomi Maynard with this award. On first meeting Naomi, I realised that she brought immense knowledge, understanding, drive and compassion to the role and has no doubt that the work will go from strength to strength so that their mission – that everyone can eat Good Food – becomes a reality.

Feeding Liverpool would like to congratulate all the award winners and thank the High Sheriff for this honour.

Dr Naomi Maynard, Dr Ruth Hussey, Kevin Peacock (Feeding Liverpool chair of trustees) and Marie Reynolds (Feeding Liverpool trustee)

FACT Liverpool to Screen Exciting New British Documentary ‘Six Inches of Soil’

Feedback’s Alchemic Kitchen and Feeding Liverpool are announcing a screening of the eagerly anticipated documentary film Six Inches of Soil. The film tells the inspiring story of young British farmers standing up against the industrial food system and transforming the way they produce food – to heal the soil, our health and provide for local communities. The screening will take place at FACT Liverpool at 6pm on the 27th March and will include a panel discussion with members from The Kindling Trust, Compost Works and the film’s director Colin Ramsey.  

Six Inches of Soil follows three new farmers on the first year of their regenerative journey – Anna Jackson, a Lincolnshire 11th generation arable and sheep farmer; Adrienne Gordon, a Cambridgeshire small-scale vegetable farmer; and Ben Thomas, who rears pasture-fed beef cattle in Cornwall. As the trio strive to adopt regenerative practices and create viable businesses, they meet seasoned mentors who help them on their journey. They’re joined by other experts providing wisdom and solutions from a growing movement of people who are dedicated to changing the trajectory for food, farming and the planet. 

Lucy Antal from Feedback’s Alchemic Kitchen project says:

“The Liverpool City Region has both hidden farms and food growing spaces that no-one knows about, so we’re excited to host this screening with Feeding Liverpool and to share the positive messages in the film as part of the Liverpool Good Food Plan. It is so important to shift food and farming towards more regenerative, agroecological practices for a more resilient system, and we must bring consumers, chefs and procurers with us on that journey. We’ve got a great panel to chat through these themes after the screening and will be really interested to hear the audience’s thoughts.”

Claire Mackenzie, Six Inches of Soil Producer, adds:

“Community screenings are a hugely important part of our impact campaign. We’re so excited that Alchemic Kitchen and Feeding Liverpool are hosting this event as part of Liverpool’s Good Food Plan;it’s really important that people have discussions at a local level to find ways to move forward to create profitable food systems that benefit the community whilst looking after our soil and the environment in the best possible way.

You can book tickets to the event using this link.

City Leaders Gather to Celebrate Progress Made in 2nd Year of Liverpool’s Good Food Plan

Liverpool’s Good Food Plan addresses key issues related to the food we eat in Liverpool.

 

This includes food insecurity, access to and take-up of healthy, nutritious food, the impact the food we eat is having on our planet, and the practices by which the food we eat is produced. The Plan was developed by residents and organisations across Liverpool, before it was formally launched in October 2021.  

Leaders from across the city gathered at LUSH on 29th February to celebrate the progress made during the second year of the Good Food Plan and commit to ‘Join the Good Food Movement’ to work towards the vision of a city where everyone can eat good food. They were treated to a viewing of the Good Food; Our Food photo exhibition, which celebrates the good food stories of cultural communities across Liverpool.  

 

To mark the progress made, The Good Food Plan taskforce – co-chaired by Liverpool City Council Public Health and Feeding Liverpool – have published their second Impact Report sharing the progress made under each of the five goals of the Plan.   

Highlights from Good Food Plan 2023 Impact Report include:  

Goal 1: Good Food at Points of Crisis  

  • £4,865,000 of support via supermarket vouchers was given to families identified as at risk of food insecurity during the school holidays.  
  • 115 community providers provided 387,000 meals for over 14,000 children and young people through Liverpool’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme and Eat to Meet half term playscheme provision.  
  • Over 7,723 emergency foodbank parcels were boosted with fresh produce through the Winter Boost Project.  
  • 61 people trained as Community Healthy Start Champions. Overall uptake of the Healthy Start in Liverpool increased from 65% in January to 76% in December. 
  • The Queen of Greens mobile greengrocer was visited over 13,720 times this year.  
  • £1,056,000 of the Household Support Fund was given to 74 organisations, who provide food support across 109 sites including foodbanks, food pantries and community markets. 
  • 98% of food support organisations are now offering at least one form of ‘wrap around support’ for people who use their services. Over 40% of food support spaces co-locate money and debt advice, and/or welfare and benefits advice services at their food spaces.   

 Goal 2: Uncovering the true scale of food insecurity  

  • Food insecurity questions were included for the first time within Liverpool City Council’s Residents Survey.  

 Goal 3: Enabling food citizenship  

  • Good Food; Our Food, photo exhibition was launched to celebrate stories of what good food means to cultural communities across Liverpool. The exhibition has already toured seven venues.  
  • Over 60 organisations operate community pantries, growing spaces, community markets or community shops and 41 organisations host regular community meals.  
  • 30 community leaders were trained to deliver the Fed-Up cooking course.   
  • BiteBack 2030’s Liverpool Youth Board launched a powerful campaign highlighting how junk food advertisers target young people.  
  • 31 young people engaged with food citizenship workshops.  

 Goal 4: Shifting policy and practice  

  • Local people played keys roles in national campaigns for Free School Meals for All and the Right to Food.  
  •  Save Kids from Sugar campaign updated and school resources launched to support healthy eating.  
  • Healthy Weight Grant Programme awarded over £500,000 to voluntary sector organisations to support healthy weight and wellbeing.  
  • 74 food support organisations committed to follow the Good Food Procurement Principles.   

Goal 5: Connecting the Community  

  • Liverpool Food Growers Network hosted 23 events enabling volunteers from the growing projects to meet each other and tour their sites. 
  • 160 people attended six Good Food events, sharing their expertise with each other through presentations, round table discussions and informal networking sessions.  
  • A new Good Food Plan working group: The Way Ahead working group, was established to explore the long-term sustainability of emergency and community food support. 

Professor Matthew Ashton, Liverpool City Council Director of Public Health:

“Each of us has a role to play to build a city where everyone can eat good food and this report demonstrates the progress the partnership has made towards achieving the Good Food Plan’s goals.”

Dr Naomi Maynard, Good Food Programme Director, Feeding Liverpool:

Whilst the challenges we face are significant, the progress made over the last few years has highlighted what can be achieved when we take a joined up, holistic approach to sustainable and healthy food.” 

With over 300 organisations connected to and working towards the aims of Liverpool’s Good Food Plan, this Impact Report cannot share all that has happened in 2023 but, we hope, offers a glimpse into the work across the city. It has been compiled by the Good Food Taskforce with support from Feeding Liverpool.  

 We would like to extend our thanks to the residents and organisations working towards creating a city where everyone can eat good food.  

Read the Good Food Plan 2023 impact report here.

Learn more about Liverpool’s Good Food Plan here

For further information, get in touch with Good Food Taskforce co-chairs Melisa Campbell and Dr Naomi Maynard.

New Impact Report Celebrates The Work Of Feeding Liverpool

We are delighted to publish Feeding Liverpool’s latest Impact Report, celebrating the work of the food alliance throughout 2023.

The report highlights the progress made towards our vision of ‘Good Food for All’, as we work with our member organisations to reduce levels of food insecurity and increase access to good food across the city.

Key achievements in 2023 include

7,723 emergency food parcels boosted with fruit and vegetables during the winter months

61 new Community Healthy Start Champions trained to support pregnant women and young families

13,720 visits to the Queen of Greens mobile greengrocer, improving access to good food

£1 million distributed to our members

30 community leaders trained to deliver cooking courses

7 community venues hosted our Good Food; Our Food photo exhibition

131 young people learnt about food citizenship through our summer workshops

10 Good Food network events brought together the city’s food support organisations

Feeding Liverpool Launch New NHS Healthy Start Video

Healthy Start is a national scheme that provides help for eligible families and those who are pregnant to buy healthy food and milk.

It includes a pre-paid card which is allocated £4.25 per week (£8.50 during the first year of a child’s life) to be spent on milk, fruit, vegetables and infant formula. Access to free Healthy Start vitamins are also included to support early years development.

Increasing awareness and uptake of Healthy Start across Liverpool is crucial as it could make a significant difference to some of Liverpool’s lowest income households by improving both the quality and quantity of good food their household consumes. 1 in 4 eligible pregnant women and families are still missing out of the Healthy Start scheme.

 

If a participant remains eligible from 10 weeks pregnant until their child is 4, they could access £1,200 overall via the scheme. Although Liverpool’s uptake of the scheme has increased to 78% since the transition to a digitalised scheme, there are still many eligible families missing out.

Feeding Liverpool have created a new NHS Healthy Start video aimed at families to help promote the scheme, increase uptake across the city and improve access to good food for families across the city.

 

This video encourages eligible families to apply for the scheme and how to do so. It also provides them with more information on what the scheme is and where they can use their pre-paid Healthy Start cards across Liverpool.

The video highlights that the Healthy Start card can be used in any shop that sells healthy food and milk, and which accepts Mastercard. This includes supermarkets, local shops, pharmacies, markets, petrol stations, majority of Community Food Spaces across Liverpool and the Queen of Greens mobile greengrocer.

Feeding Liverpool have also updated their Healthy Start website pages, creating one specifically for professionals and another for those wanting to apply for the scheme to make it easier for people to access the right pages.

Liverpool City Council’s Associate Director of Public Health – Children and Young People & Health Improvement, Melisa Campbell,  said:

“Increasing awareness and uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme is crucial as it can make a real difference to some of Liverpool’s lowest income households by supporting families to access good quality food, which is especially important during pregnancy and early years development.”

 

With thanks to our funders:

 

Free School Meals in the North West – New Report

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) are authors of a new report that focuses on free school meals in the North West of England, including new statistics on the number of children in poverty across the region missing out. It also looks at the role of schools and local authorities in FSM provision, and considers the socio-economic benefits that support a nationwide universal roll out of FSM. 

Every North West local authority has at least 1,500 school-age children in poverty who are not eligible for free school meals because the qualifying criteria is so restrictive.

CPAG and GMPA are urging local leaders to do what they can to ensure more kids get a free lunch but say the responsibility ultimately lies with the UK government to expand provision of free school meals across the country in order to tackle classroom hunger.

Infants are guaranteed a free school meal in England but children in Year 3 and above must be in households on universal credit with an income below £7,400 per year (before benefits and after tax) to qualify. This threshold has not changed since 2018, despite increasing inflation. It means 100,000 (one in four) school-age children in poverty across the North West can’t claim free meals – at a time when one in three children in the region are below the poverty line and the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Government action on free school meals in England lags far behind other UK nations. In Scotland and Wales, universal provision is being rolled out across primary schools and, in Northern Ireland, the eligibility threshold is considerably higher than in England (eligibility is set at £14,000 in Northern Ireland). Emergency funding provided by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also means all state primary school children in London will receive free school meals until the end of the 2024/25 academic school year.

The new report highlights examples of local action being taken in the North West to increase access to free school meals, encouraging local leaders to do what they can but also to join national calls for expansion of entitlement to free school lunch.

It also outlines existing research, which shows children’s health, attainment and even school attendance is improved when free school meals are universal. Free lunch for every child would be a significant step towards ensuring the UK meets its international human rights obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which states that children have the right to food, clothing and a safe space to live and that the government should help families and children who cannot afford this) and under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which guarantees the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger and identifies positive obligations on States to fulfil the right to adequate food when individuals are unable to do so themselves).

Read the report here.

February 2024 Fed-Up Slow Cooker Trainer courses

We are pleased to announce that the Mersey Play Action Council and Liverpool City Council have funded a new round of slow cooker, train the trainer courses. Could you become a Fed-Up Slow Cooker Trainer?

Feeding Liverpool, Alchemic Kitchen and chef Adam Franklin partner on the Fed-Up Slow Cooker Training Programme, teaching practical, communal cooking courses that bring together and equip community members to make delicious, nutritious, low-maintenance meals on a budget, in a friendly atmosphere to help combat loneliness and social isolation. 

The course trains participants to become Fed-Up slow cooker trainers who can host slow cooking courses in their local communities. This course is perfect for HAF/Community Food Space groups to send a staff member or volunteer.

Slow cookers are simple to use and typically use over 60% less energy than ovens. No previous cooking experience is required, just a passion to share what you learn with others and a willingness to lead a community cooking course after completing the training.

The Fed-Up course, led by chef Adam Franklin, started in 2014 as a course designed to help supplement foodbank parcels to maximise the amount of meals that could be prepared by adding fresh food, a slow cooker and the training to effect change. It has developed into a network of people from community settings connected together to use their new practical skills, support each other and connected into other community projects.

Our half day train the trainer courses

After the course, the new trainers will receive on-going support including:

  • Training resources to deliver your course
  • 10 recipe packs to handout to your course participants
  • Up to 10 slow cookers for your course participants
  • Ongoing communication with Feeding Liverpool, Alchemic Kitchen, and chef Adam Franklin to support the establishment of your courses

Training dates

Tuesday 20th February – 6-8pm

Wednesday 21st February – 1-3pm

Thursday 22nd February – 9.30-11.30am

All sessions to take place at Alba Restaurant, Prescot Rd, Liverpool L31 1AP

How do I get involved?

To get involved please express your interest using the form below. Whilst all organisations are encouraged to apply, priority will be given to Holiday Activity and Food Programme groups.

Unfortunately, we anticipate interest may exceed the number of places available, in which case we will create a waiting list for any future train-the-trainer courses.

Due to our funding requirements, participants will need to be primarily based in and willing to deliver courses within the Liverpool City Council geographical area. Participants who would like to deliver courses both within Liverpool and the wider City Region are encouraged to register their interest and note this on the form.

Apply here.