Northumberland voluntary groups get share of £100,000 to respond to food emergency
A partnership has been formed to help bring forward sustainable food solutions for communities in Northumberland.
The Food Partnership will see the council’s Northumberland Communities Together (NCT) team working with five voluntary organisations to help respond to the current food emergency, as a result of coronavirus, as well as looking to the future and long-term solutions.
They are: Berwick Community Development Trust (North), Northumberland Community Enterprise Ltd (Castle Morpeth), Adapt Northeast (West), Sustainable Community Enterprises North East (SCENE - Ashington, Blyth); and SCENE (Cramlington, Bedlington & Seaton Valley)
With funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Recovery Fund each area has been given £20,000 to develop projects and initiatives in their communities.
The food partnership supports a cross-party working group led by Cllr Wendy Pattison, Northumberland County Council’s equality and diversity champion.
She said: “The working group has been focusing on food poverty and developing a sustainable plan to tackle disadvantage across the county.”
The partnership builds upon the excellent work already being done by an army of voluntary and community groups along with local business and food delivery providers across Northumberland.The vision for the Food Partnership is to create a future that delivers safe, healthy, affordable food solutions for communities; helps to break the cycle of dependency in relation to emergency food assistance; encourages positive behavioural change around food and is robust in the face of future demands.The partnership will also be considering food in line with environmental concerns, such as food waste, surplus food, and access to nutrition.
Cllr Veronica Jones, cabinet member responsible for the NCT initiative said: “The purpose of the Food Partnership is to co-produce a vision and delivery platform for the kind of food system that we want to see in Northumberland and a plan for how to achieve that vision through effective partnership working and collaboration.
“We have seen an increase in the demand on things like Food Banks as a result of Covid and our communities have as ever, pulled together and supported those most in need. With this partnership and through this funding we want to be able to create a positive legacy which can bring about change in people’s lives."