Category: Resources

Communications toolkit from the DWP on its cost of living support package

This toolkit from the DWP helps you to explain the Cost of Living support package to the families and individuals accessing your services. It includes:

An overview of the support package can be found here. The package includes:

  • £650 one-off cost of living grant payment for those on means tested benefits – made in 2 instalments (from July and Autumn)
  • £400 grant payment to all households for energy bills (from October)
  • £150 disability cost of living payment for those claiming disability benefits (from September)
  • An extra £300 Pensioner cost of living payment for those pensioners receiving Winter Fuel Payment (paid in November or December)

Eligible households will be paid automatically in the same way they usually get their benefit or tax credits. Additional help may also be available through the Household Support Fund or other discretionary funds.

Feeding Liverpool’s submissions to the All-Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into ending the need for foodbanks

Feeding Liverpool have submitted three submissions to the All-Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into ending the need for foodbanks.  A wide range of opinions have been offered about the best way forward for ending the need for foodbanks – this work will form the foundations for a wider review of our city’s crisis response.

The submissions are as follows:

  1. Feeding Liverpool’s submission on behalf of 20 organisations in Liverpool
    This document contains detailed reflections on the submission’s questions about effective responses to crisis provision, the advantages and disadvantages of foodbanks and cash first approaches, and which policies organisations have identified as needing change to end the need for foodbanks.
  2. A submission from Liverpool’s Good Food Community Advocacy and Policy Group
    This document addresses three of the ‘learning from best practice’ questions asked in the submission.
  3. A submission on behalf of 60+ people who have used a foodbank
    This document includes insights to questions asked in the submission from 52 foodbank users in June 2022, alongside nine stories gathered as part of the development of the Good Food Plan in 2021, comments submitted anonymously via the Feeding Liverpool website and a ‘feedback wall’ in a foodbank, and a detailed case study from Asylum Link Merseyside.

Liverpool City Council are coordinating a separate submission which, amongst other aspects, will highlight the important role of Liverpool’s Citizens Support Scheme.

Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers in your Community Resources

In April 2022 we held our event Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers in your Community at Liverpool Archdiocese office. We invited community food spaces and other local organisations to come together and learn more about the support in place across the city for people seeking asylum and refugees, and to discuss ways to develop community food provision for this group.

The event was hosted by Annette James from Micah Liverpool and Feeding Liverpool and Ewan Roberts from Asylum Link. We were also joined by Nicher Awan from Micah Liverpool.

Annette opened the event with a short presentation about Feeding Liverpool and our work as lead partners of Liverpool’s Good Food Plan. Ewan followed with a presentation about Asylum Link’s work with people seeking asylum and refugees and how they have used Food as Welcome as a charity. The first half of the event ended with a short talk from Nicher Awan who described her experiences around food provision as an asylum seeker and refugee.

You can watch the first half of our event below or on our YouTube channel.

Annette’s Introduction to the event 00:00
Ewan’s Food as Welcome presentation 4:15
Nicher, an Expert by Experience 31:36


You can view Ewan’s slideshow here.

Lunch was served by Betty Vandy from Bettylicious Cooks; incredibly delicious jollof rice with a tasty aubergine stew and salad, a great example of Good Food. During lunch, attendees were encouraged to move around the room and network with one another.

The second half of our time together began with a presentation by Annette about the food provision offered to asylum seekers and refugees by Micah Liverpool and Christ Church Toxteth Park Pantry. Annette also spoke about the Healthy Start Scheme and how it may be able to be used to support refugees.

This led on to a panel Q&A with Nicher, Ewan and Annette answering questions from attendees.

You can watch the second half of our event below or on our YouTube channel.

Annette’s presentation 00:00
Panel Q&A 10:44


You can view Annette’s slideshow here.

We came together at the end for a lovely group photo in support of the Together with Refugees campaign.



Here are some links to additional resources that we think may be useful:


The feedback we received from this event was positive and showed that there is a need for groups across the city to be better connected. We see this event as the beginning of a conversation and are working towards how we can better facilitate these connections.

Healthy Start for Liverpool

The Healthy Start Scheme is a government funded program that aims to increase the health of eligible parents/carers on low incomes and their young children to give them the best start in life. It is available to women who are 10+ weeks pregnant or eligible parents/carers who have a child up to the age of 4 and who are on income-related benefits.

Those eligible receive free vitamins and £4.25 each week that can be spent on fruit, vegetables and milk – enabling eligible parents/carers who have little disposable income to be able to prioritise healthy food and increase their vitamin and mineral intake. The scheme has recently become digitised, with paper vouchers eventually being fully replaced by digital cards by the end of March 2022.

In Liverpool, prior to the pandemic only two out of every three parents/carers in Liverpool eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme claimed this benefit, although this number has fluctuated.[1]

There is concern that uptake may be affected significantly during the switch over from paper to the digital scheme as claimants are required to re-register.

In Liverpool, we know that one in three adults is food insecure, and that only one in two adults regularly eat their 5-a-day.[2] Poor nutrition, throughout the life cycle, including during pregnancy and early childhood has significant knock-on effects on mental and physical health, increasing the prevalence of diet-related diseases.

We want every child to have the best start in life; as a city we follow the Marmot Principles[3] which includes seeking to be a place where everyone has a healthy standard of living. Increasing the uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme is a key part of working towards this vision.

After 31 March 2022, paper vouchers will no longer be issued. People who still receive paper vouchers need to apply for the new digital service as soon as possible to ensure that they don’t miss out on their payments. Applications for the new scheme can be made at

Support for Community Food Spaces

On Monday 21st March Feeding Liverpool hosted a discussion with Community Food Spaces about the Healthy Start Scheme’s digitalisation. We were joined by Rachel Thomas from The Bread and Butter Thing who introduced the scheme, and explained how community food spaces can support it.

Here’s a list of the actions and next steps discussed and agreed on from this discussion time.

  • Sum Up machines

    Feeding Britain have offered to pay for any community food space who doesn’t already have a sum up machine so we can all accept the Healthy Start cards. Get in touch with Naomi on [email protected] if you need help with this.

  • Accepting payments

    Your Local Pantry have agreed a 50% split in their membership fees between Healthy Start card and their regular cash/card payments. Their national YLP worker James has written a briefing to pantries about this, which Chris will circulate once we have firmed up our advertising offer.  Other community food spaces need to think through the practicalities of how accepting card payments can work with their model.

  • Advertising

    Feeding Liverpool have agreed to put together starter packs for community food spaces advertising the Healthy Start Scheme.

  • Training/Healthy Start Champions

    Groups felt additional volunteer training would be useful around this. Feeding Liverpool will arrange for 1 x set of online training (hopefully with Rachel from TBBT if she’s available!)  and 1 x set of in person training to be offered to volunteers in April/May.

  • Storytelling

    This is one element of a wider project reviewing Healthy Start in the city (funded by Torus Foundation) – over the next few months there will be a series of Healthy Start discussions involving stakeholders. Please support us where you can on ensuring we are listening to the voices of local parents/carers around the city as we work to improve access and increase uptake.

  • Website

    Feeding Liverpool will work to make a section of our website which contains info about Healthy Start.

We are encouraging Community Food Spaces across the city to promote Healthy Start to those who may be eligible for the benefit. The NHS have produced a series of social media assets around Healthy Start, particularly as it has transferred to become digital. They are available here. Materials include animations, email signatures, posters and a social media toolkit.

This year Feeding Liverpool will be leading on an action plan detailing local barriers to the healthy Start Scheme and proposed solutions with the aim of increasing the uptake across the city. Feeding Liverpool are commissioning this piece of work as part of our role in developing Liverpool’s Good Food Plan.


[1] Healthy-Start-vouchers-uptake-data-england.xlsx (

[2] Why is it important and why now? – Feeding Liverpool

[3] Fair Society Healthy Lives (The Marmot Review) – IHE (

Feeding Liverpool’s 2021 Impact Report

This report outlines the key activities Feeding Liverpool have led and supported during 2021 and reflects on the difference this has made to the city.

As Liverpool’s good food alliance none of what we achieved last year has been done alone.

The work of Feeding Liverpool is brought to life and sustained by people and organisations across the city who are united in a desire to reduce food insecurity, tackle the root causes of poverty, and become a city where everyone can eat good food.

Feeding Liverpool 2021 Impact Report

Establishing Partnerships Event Resources

In February 2022, with Liverpool Food Growers Network, we held a networking event bringing together community food growers with other community food spaces such as food pantries and food banks with the aim of facilitating connections, eating good food, and learning from other organisations who have already established these partnerships. St Michael in the City, home to Roots in the City – a community garden led by Faiths4Change in the heart of Liverpool city centre – provided the perfect location to bring these two groups together.

We began the session with a speed dating-inspired activity, giving everyone the opportunity to introduce themselves and the work of their organisations. The room was buzzing for over half an hour as every couple of minutes attendees met someone new.

After the speed dating, we went straight into lunch which was cooked on site by Rachel from Faiths4Change, delicious soup and salad with sourdough bread baked that morning by nearby Baltic Bakehouse. To add to the sense of place, some of the fresh ingredients were harvested from the Roots in the City community garden.

Following on from lunch, we had the opportunity to hear from three local organisations and their food partnerships; Grow Speke, Faiths4Change, and Micah.


Brendan from Grow Speke talked about their partnership with SLH’s The Market Place. You can watch his talk below.

Brendan’s presentation can be viewed here.

A full transcript can be viewed here.


Rachel from Faiths4Change talked about their partnership with Micah. You can watch her talk below.

A full transcript can be viewed here.


Nicher from Micah talked about their partnership with Faiths4Change and Farm Urban. You can watch her talk below.

A full transcript can be viewed here.


Feedback was clear, events supporting community food growers and other community food spaces are wanted in Liverpool and the city region. We hope to continue our partnership with Liverpool Food Growers Network by hosting more of these kinds of gatherings in the future.

Feeding Liverpool will be organising regular events throughout the year bringing community food spaces together. Our next event will be Supporting Asylum Seekers in your Community, date TBC.

The Cost of the School Day Calendar 2021/22 (Church Action on Poverty)

The Child Poverty Action Group have developed a ‘cost of the school day’ calendar

This resource aims to help schools identify possible cost barriers during the academic year and think about some alternatives to make sure all children and young people can fully participate in education. The calendar includes ideas and good practice examples from schools. Please share this amongst your networks and local schools.

The Cost of the School Day Calendar 2021/22


Christmas and Winter Food Support

Helpful resources for Christmas and Winter food support across Liverpool

Community Christmas Meals

Our Community Christmas Meals map of venues and organisations open on or around Christmas day providing free food or community meals. 

HAF (Holidays Activities & Food Programme)

A helpful interactive map on MPAC’s website so families with children aged 5-16 can find food and activity provision nearby throughout the Christmas holidays. Read more about the HAF Winter programme on Liverpool City Council’s website:  Winter Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Food Vouchers

Families with school-aged children on free-school meals will be issued by their schools with food vouchers to support with the cost of food over the Christmas period. Families with children aged under 2 who are eligible for early education support will receive vouchers in the New Year.  Read more here: Support available for vulnerable people this winter

Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme

The Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme will remain open throughout Christmas period.  If yourself or someone you support is in a crisis,  you can apply for support to get food and basic necessities including gas and electric vouchers (urgent needs) and furniture and household essentials (home needs). Call Freephone 0800 456 1523 or 0151 233 3053 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.


Many foodbanks remain open for crisis food provision over the Christmas period.

Agencies who make foodbank referrals should refer to foodbank websites for the holiday opening hours. Please note, for many foodbanks, including the city’s Trussell Trust networks, individuals will still need a referral to access foodbank support as per the usual process.

See links below for the Trussell Trust Foodbanks across North and South Liverpool. For independent foodbanks, please refer to their websites.

Locations | North Liverpool Foodbank Website

Locations | South Liverpool Foodbank Website

Community Food Spaces

Many Community Food Spaces will be open over the Christmas period, please contact then individually to confirm opening hours:  Community Food Spaces across Liverpool. 

Good Food for the Holidays in Liverpool

The toolkit has been produced as part of the Good Food for the Holidays training led by Food Active and Merseyside Play Action Council, for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The course contains menu ideas, ways to make learning about food fun as well as advice and support for organisations to ensure food is produced, stored and handled safely.

Download the toolkit here: Good Food for the Holidays in Liverpool