Category: Resources

Community Cooking Conversations Event Resources

In October 2022 we held our community food network event Community Cooking Conversations at Kirkdale Community Kitchen. This session brought together Good Food organisations to listen, learn, share and make connections with others, focusing on the theme of Community Cooking.

By community cooking this can mean any project where groups meet to cook meals together or projects involving cooking meals for the community, this could look like cooking classes, community meals, a community kitchen, lunch clubs, or slow cooker projects for example.

The session included a plant-based lunch, networking opportunities, a live cooking demonstration, and practical advice about how to setup and sustain your community cooking project.

Lunch was a delicious vegan sweet potato satay curry cooked and demonstrated by chef Leigh Menzie from Kirkdale Community Kitchen.


We were joined by three speakers, Dr Bryce Evans, Professsor of Modern History at Liverpool Hope University, Dr Hayley Tait, GP, Author, and Cook, and Keenan Humble from Alchemic Kitchen.

Bryce talked about the solidarity model and history of community kitchens.

Hayley told us about her project Vinny’s Kitchen, a plant-based cookery school in Wavertree.

Keenan shared about how to sustain your community cooking projects.

Big thank you to all the speakers and Chef Leigh for his cooking demo and delicious food!


Links to resources

During the event, several resources were mentioned. Here are links we think you may find useful if you are in the process of setting up a community cooking project:

Government website allergen course – Food Standards Agency food allergy online training

LCVS – to set up your charity – Start Up Advice and Support | (

Broken Plate Report (mentioned by Hayley) – The Broken Plate 2022 | Food Foundation

Made in Hackney (support for setting up community kitchens- mentioned by Hayley) – Home | Made In Hackney


There will be more community food network events coming soon.

Food activity monitoring tools

For many organisations ‘monitoring’ is a scary word. We have designed some simple tools which I hope can help take some of this stress away, enabling you to focus on what you do best. Knowing how many people you support, who they are and what your food activities means to those who attend can enable you to communicate clearly with funders about the difference your work is making

Dr Naomi Maynard

Food activity monitoring tools

The food activity monitoring tools are designed to be completed each week by a volunteer or a member of staff immediately after your session. They provide space for you to capture the number of people you have supported and their age groups as well as note any feedback or reflections you or your team have after the session.

We have provided them in two formats: a set of one-page paper versions for each type of food activity, and an excel spreadsheet which encapsulates all four types of food activity.  Use the method that bests suits your organisation.

  1. For emergency food parcels
  2. For community food spaces, including food pantries, food clubs, food unions, social supermarkets, community shops and community markets
  3. For community meals, including food provided alongside activities, and for community cafes
  4. For other food support activities or one-off activities

The following spreadsheet contains a separate tab to record for each type of food activity. Please download and save your own version of this spreadsheet:

Excel spreadsheet

There may be other details about who you support which you’d like to capture (e.g. gender, ethnicity) or about the activities you run, do get in touch with Dr Naomi Maynard ([email protected]) if you need support to adapt this form to include this.

We will be adding further tools to support with storytelling later in 2022.

Affordable Food Club – A Feeding Britain Toolkit August 2022

Affordable Food Clubs can include social supermarkets, pantries, larders, food buses and othe community-led initiatives which provide access to nutritious food for a fraction of what these items would cost in a regular supermarket. They enable people on low incomes to stretch their budgets further each week, helping to prevent crisis situations from arising in household finances which can bring the need for food banks into play. They also offer wraparound support to address the wider issues with which people may be struggling.

Feeding Britain have produced an updated toolkit for organisations seeking to get involved in developing these projects, which outlines some of the considerations for anyone developing an affordable food club.

Affordable Food Club Toolkit – August 2022

Mobile Affordable Food Projects – A Feeding Britain Guide Toolkit August 2022

Across the Feeding Britain network, a fleet of Mobile Affordable Food Clubs is being developed – converted double decker buses serving inner-city estates and coastal communities; ex-mobile libraries, adapted ice cream vans and retired St John Ambulance vehicles covering urban areas and rural villages; and e-cargo bikes loaded with fruit and vegetables at school gates.

These are just some of the mobile affordable food projects being developed across the UK through the Feeding Britain network.

Closer to home, we have the  Mobile Food Pantries in Liverpool supported by Fans Supporting Foodbanks, with new mobile affordable food projects being developed.

Feeding Britain have produced an updated toolkit for organisations seeking to get involved in developing these projects, which outlines some of the considerations for anyone developing a mobile affordable food project.

Mobile Affordable Food Projects Toolkit – August 2022

A Healthy Start for Liverpool Report

The Healthy Start Scheme is a lifeline for many pregnant women and families with children under 4 in Liverpool. It is a means-tested government benefit designed as a nutritional safety net to improve access to a healthy diet for low-income families.

Over 6,800 pregnant women and parents/carers are eligible for the scheme in Liverpool, getting support to purchase good food: fruit, vegetables, lentils, milk, and free vitamins, to ensure every child gets the best start in life.

Only approx. 60% of eligible pregnant women and parents/carers across the city take up the scheme – meaning thousands of low income households are missing out on this vital support.

At the start of 2022 we asked ourselves “How can we improve the uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme in Liverpool?”.

From April 2022 – August 2022, Feeding Liverpool, partnering with Rachel Flood Associates Ltd, worked with pregnant women, families, Children’s Centre staff, Public Health, and Health Visitors to review the Healthy Start Scheme in Liverpool and developed a series of recommendations about how we could improve awareness and uptake of the scheme.

Below are the findings and recommendations of this piece of research in our Full Report and Executive Summary.

This work was kindly funded by Torus Foundation.

A Healthy Start For Liverpool Executive Summary

A Healthy Start for Liverpool Full Report


Please do join us at 9:15am to 10:30am on Wednesday 14th September for an online presentation of these findings and recommendations from Rachel Flood, who has led this piece of research. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the next steps for our city.

This online event is particularly aimed at:

  • Health Care Professionals including representatives from Public Health, midwives, GP’s, health visitors, and members of Primary Care Networks
  • Children’s workforce staff, including children centre staff, and staff from the private childcare sector
  • Voluntary sector staff and volunteers who engage with pregnant women or families with children under the age of 4

For more information about the online presentation and to register to attend, click here.

For more information on Healthy Start visit:

Business in the Community – Job Coaching

Business in the Community is inviting partners to act as referrers for their Job Coaching programme to support jobseekers. Please see their flyer here.

They are running twice weekly, half hour briefing sessions to help you learn more about the programme. The sessions are drop-in and accessible via the Teams links below.  They aim to help you understand the benefits for jobseekers, eligibility criteria and the referral process, and provide information to help you talk confidently about the programme with your clients.

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 (