|Plymouth Octopus Project (POP+) is the City’s voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisation. POP+ is managing funding awarded to Plymouth by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to extend the radical transformation and strengthening of the City’s third sector in which Food Plymouth has played a pioneering role.|
As the City’s recognised cross-sector food partnership, Food Plymouth collaborates with POP+ on a number of levels, including as an active member of the POP+ facilitated ‘Network of Networks’ group. The latest expression of this collaboration was a POP+ Neighbourhood & Communities Network meeting on 9th July at Plymstock Community Centre. This event had a specific focus on food poverty, in direct response to interest coming forward from the previous network meeting. The event benefitted from inputs from many Food Plymouth partners including Devon and Cornwall Food Action, Provide Devon and Plymouth Food Bank. Lisa Howard from the Food Plymouth supported Plymouth Food Equality Alliance conducted a workshop to help inform the City’s Food Poverty Strategy, assisted by Tami Skelton of Food is Fun CIC and Food Plymouth.
Thanking everyone for their whole-hearted participation, Lisa commented that the experiences and perspectives shared at the workshop would be extremely valuable for informing the Plymouth Food Equality Alliance and the work of the Food Equality Project, focused on reaching and involving those directly impacted by food insecurity and poverty.
Staff from several aspects of the extensive Co-op Food operation in Devon and Cornwall supported the meeting with their specialist knowledge and experience of the food supply chain and explanations of their excellent work around surplus food redistribution, communities and associated opportunities. This led to some interesting conversations with Food Plymouth’s Ian Smith. The out-workings of these discussions will be explored in future editions of this e-bulletin.
This positive collegiate event naturally concluded with a discussion around next steps, including the desirability of a follow-on workshop to develop additional collaboration and co-operation. It was agreed that Food Plymouth would convene this event, enabled by some of its POP+ Esmee Fairbairn Network of Networks funding.