18 November 2015

City’s food poverty plan set to be agreed

Staff from Brighton & Hove City Council are set to play their part in a three-year city-wide plan led by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership aimed at tackling food poverty in the city.

The action plan has been prepared by and will be delivered jointly by a wide range of local agencies including the city’s Food Partnership, the local NHS, Brighton Housing Trust and dozens of other groups as well as the council.

Staff from the council’s adult social care, children’s services, housing, transport, welfare reform and public health teams would be involved in measures aimed at tackling food poverty and training front-line staff to give advice to people of all ages who are struggling to afford decent nutrition.

Measures could include:

  • work to make shared meals more readily available across the city for vulnerable older people – a move that could help tackle loneliness and social isolation at the same time as offering people healthy food
  • work to develop help for families who are suffering deprivation to eat healthily during school holidays when free school meals are not available
  • increasing awareness and uptake of Healthy Start vouchers and vitamins – a national scheme promoting healthy eating among families with young children.

The council’s neighbourhoods, communities and equalities committee is being asked to approve the plan when it meets on Monday 23 November.

Committee chair Councillor Emma Daniel said: “Brighton & Hove already has a national reputation for its work around food and nutrition, but we need to do more.

“Food poverty is unacceptable. People suffering deprivation often have to choose between paying for food or paying the rent and other bills. There are huge inequalities across the city at this basic level.

“This project is not just about food banks and raising people’s awareness of healthy diets. It’s also about poverty and doing everything we can to help people access the benefits, information and other support they need.

“We’ve got an important role to play but this is bigger than the council. Dozens of different groups need to pull together. If we do then together I’m convinced we can make a big difference.”