Tackling Food Poverty and diet related ill-health + Access to affordable healthy food

Plymouth has high levels of child poverty and many people living in the city are at risk of food insecurity (particularly those living on lower incomes, such as families and older adults claiming benefit pensions). We know that we face a number of challenges in relation to food in the city. Food prices have risen, and some areas do not have access to affordable healthy food meaning that the number of people affected by food vulnerability continues to grow.

Our main action in this theme is the recent creation of a Plymouth ‘Food Poverty alliance’, which is made up of a range of our partners who are already engaged in food and poverty work. This alliance aims to to coordinate a tailored ‘Food Poverty Action Plan’ for the city. The Food Equality Project is consulting individuals and communities to co-create solutions and inform a  Food and Poverty Action Plan for Plymouth, this work is now in its second year.

The Food Equality Project

The aim of the Food Equality Project is to get people and communities in Plymouth talking about food insecurity so that local people are involved in co-creating solutions and building a Food and Poverty Action Plan for Plymouth. Funded by Food Power UK the project is part of a UK wide programme and network which supports the co-production of sustainable solutions to food poverty.

Using creative methods as tool for engagement and conversation we have run seven interactive workshops in locations across the city, including Stonehouse, Barne Barton and North Prospect.  We have mapped local food provision, made collage, zines and used audio recording to capture conversations which include; local availability of healthy food, the cost of food, holiday hunger, shopping habits, free school meals and emergency food provision. The workshops have provided relaxed and sociable spaces with creative materials and food and the work made is helping to build a picture of local issues and experiences.

Creative outputs from these workshops can be viewed here:

In Phase 2 of our work we will be running digital skills and campaigning workshops for young people delivered by Fotonow CIC and developing frontline toolkits in collaboration with participants. For further information about the project contact lisa.foodplymouth@gmail.com

An example of ‘best practice’ in Plymouth within this theme is the work being undertaken by our partners CaterEd: Recognising the impact of food insecurity, household income and the potential effects of school holidays for families entitled to free school meals throughout the school terms, Ed’s Big Summer Food Tour and Lunch at the Library (in partnership with the Library Service) aims to support families with access to freshly prepared lunches and free fun activities across a range of outdoor spaces and within libraries to support learning, reading through the Summer Reading Challenge and other interactions. This is a vitally important service to support the stark reality of #HolidayHunger

Plymouth Food Equality Project: involving local people in co-creating solutions and building a Food and Poverty Alliance and Action Plan for Plymouth.

Food Plymouth’s Food Equality Project helps to deliver one of the Six Action Strands of the Sustainable Food Cities framework for Plymouth – tackling food poverty, diet related illness and access to affordable healthy food.

The aim of the Food Equality Project is to get people and communities in Plymouth talking about food insecurity so that local people are involved in co-creating solutions and building a Food and Poverty Action Plan for Plymouth. Funded by Food Power UK the project is part of a UK wide programme and network which supports the co-production of sustainable solutions to food poverty.

Using creative methods as tool for engagement and conversation we have run seven interactive workshops in locations across the city, including Stonehouse, Barne Barton and North Prospect. We have mapped local food provision, made collage, zines and used audio recording to capture conversations which include; local availability of healthy food, the cost of food, holiday hunger, shopping habits, free school meals and emergency food provision. The workshops have provided relaxed and sociable spaces with creative materials and food and the work made is helping to build a picture of local issues and experiences.

Poverty in Plymouth Facts

  • 11500 children are living in poverty in Plymouth
  • Numbers of individuals and families accessing the local Food Bank are increasing
  • Around 19% (8,000) of children aged under 16 years old are living in low income families in Plymouth
  • Life expectancy is 8.0 years lower for men and 6.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Plymouth than in the least deprived areas.
  • The roll out of Universal credit in Plymouth is predicted to affect approx 32000 people in relation to what they can afford to buy

Partners who are in Food Poverty Alliance:

We welcome new partners! – if you would like to get involved in our Food Poverty theme of work then please contact us