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Cooking 246Beyond foodbanks

The Scottish government recently announced 21 project awards totalling £900,000 from their Fair Food Transformation Fund.

This fund supports initiatives across the country that are seeking to reduce reliance on emergency food aid, by establishing more sustainable approaches to ensuring families can access healthy, nutritious food. The government wants to encourage community based initiatives where people are supported in a dignified way and where the underlying causes of food poverty can be addressed.

Projects supported include schemes to grow fresh produce, cooking classes, community meals, and community cafes, all of which bring people and communities together in a positive social environment while offering support to those in greatest need.

An example is St Paul’s Youth Forum in Blackhill, Glasgow, which has received £46,438 for its ‘Beyond Foodbank’ initiative, which is aiming to move away from emergency food provision.

It runs weekly gardening workshops for young people, and community meals where local people can learn how to make an affordable healthy meal from locally grown produce.

Neil Young, Youth Team Leader from St Paul’s Youth Forum, said, “We’re delighted to receive funding from the Scottish Government’s Fair Food Transformation Fund. This will enable us to help people in food poverty in Blackhill/Provanmill to move beyond the shame and embarrassment that comes with being dependent on Food Banks and instead be assets in their community, contributing alongside others as equals.

“From its conception, this project has been community led, and people are taking pride in seeing what they can produce from cucumbers, to pizza, eggs and honey. The project will endeavour to ensure that no one goes hungry, and the power is shifted from being dependent on others to helping each other to find a community solution to an on-going problem.” 

As we know churches are very active in providing and running foodbanks. Could your church add to this by engaging the community to find more sustainable solutions?

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Geoff Knott, 27/09/2016

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