We want to shift policy and practice to enable ‘Good Food’ to flourish

The Challenge

Food choices are influenced by policies and practices in place both locally and nationally that influence the food system including Welfare, Planning, Agriculture, Housing, Health, Education, Food production, Retailing, Transport, Trade, Employment, Climate change mitigation, and advertising. 

Where we are now

  • Our welfare system does not provide people with sufficient income for ‘Good Food.’ (43% of all households in the UK receiving Universal Credit are food insecure, with 26% experiencing very low food security.)
  • Funding cuts in UK cities and towns from 2010 to 2018 were the most extreme in Liverpool, where they equated to a decrease of £816 per resident per year. Take a look at this austerity timeline which summarises some of the key austerity policies in the last decade.
  • Poor policies and practices around pay and employment contracts (such as zero-hours and not paying real living wage) is resulting in a high level of in-work poverty (One-in-seven UK households (14%) using food banks had someone in employment)
  • The price, stability, and quality of housing forces people to make difficult spending choices for example choosing between paying for housing, food, and the facilities to cook. (Only 4% of food bank users are homeowners – the majority are renters and 23% are homeless.)
  • A lack of data-sharing policies and practices between organisations working in this space hinders early intervention to avoid a food crisis from happening.
  • Funding cuts in UK cities and towns from 2010 to 2018 were the most extreme in Liverpool, where they equated to a decrease of £816 per resident per year. Take a look at this austerity timeline which summarises some of the key austerity policies in the last decade.
  • Poor policies and practices around pay and employment contracts (such as zero-hours and not paying real living wage) is resulting in a high level of in-work poverty (One-in-seven UK households (14%) using food banks had someone in employment)

Austerity is an economic policy to reduce government debt by reducing government spending.

In-work poverty is experienced by working people whose incomes fall below a given poverty line due to low-income jobs and low familial household income.

  • Food literacy education among both children and adults is proven to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, encourage people to try new foods, and improve overall confidence.

Food literacy is having the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to choose, grow, prepare, store and enjoy healthy food to support one’s health, the community, and the environment. 

To create long-term, systemic change, we must shift policies and practices to set people up for success and enable Good Food for all. 

Shifts in policies must be informed by what is happening on the ground; by people’s experiences. This links to Goal 3, which is about enabling people to have the power, voice, resources, and motivation to shape their local food environments and the food system as a whole.

Changes we are working towards…
Working with existing groups across the country to influence national policies including:
  • Making the £20 increase in Universal Credit permanent
  • Making free school meals universal to all children
  • Reforming Healthy Start
  • Promoting household income and good employment 
 
Engage with a wide range of local stakeholders (including people who are being directly affected by the policies and practices) to inform local and organisational policies and practices that will enable good food (e.g. planning, housing, education, public transport and data sharing).
 
We must ensure that these policy changes are having a positive overall impact on people’s lives and are therefore acting as a preventative investment which results in savings in the form of more positive long term health outcomes.
In the next 12 months, we will…
  • Set up spaces and opportunities for people involved in community food spaces to connect and build their power as a collective voice. This relates to Goal 5 which is about connecting a community of people and organisations have a part to play in achieving good food for all.
  • Support campaigning efforts that are calling for change that would increase access to ‘Good Food.’ Find details on live campaigns and ways you can support here. (for example, the #RightToFood campaign and End Hunger UK).
  • Apply to join the Sustainable Food Places Network. This will connect us with a network of places across the country that are pushing for change.
  • Form a Liverpool Food Policy and Advocacy group that will set priority policy areas and engage with local and national consultations and policy change work.
  • Link in with existing public health policy work around obesity including changes to advertising of unhealthy foods to children and join forces to push for change locally and nationally.
  • Use our communication channels to raise awareness about the scale and impact of food insecurity and barriers to ‘good food.’
How you can get involved…
Visit our campaigns page to see current local and national campaigns to get involved with. Involved in a campaign encouraging good food that isn’t listed here? Tell us about it
 
Are you interested in shifting policy and practice to enable good food? Or already involved in this work?  Email [email protected] to express your interest in joining a  Food Policy and Advocacy group.
 

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