More than just food

Video

A film about how community organisations are using food to help overcome loneliness and everyday food insecurity, while also transforming their communities.  Eating together with others, what I call social eating, has so many benefits.  Continue reading

Enabling people to “Freeze the moment” through food engaged support

I was recently invited to participate in an impact report launch for a charity organization.  This organisation works with food producers and supermarkets to help people in low income areas cope with and adapt to the challenges that they face. It also helps those communities transition into places where people want to live, raise children and grow old. Central to that organization’s work is the idea that people and communities have assets that with a little help can be mobilized to achieve these ends and that food facilitates this. Here is the broad text of my talk. I believe that adopting an approach that supports people and communities to be able to recognize what they already have is key toward moving beyond longer term transformation.

My mother has a saying—Freeze the momentContinue reading

Are we framing this right?… Food Poverty or Everyday Food Insecurity

While Food Poverty is a popular term within the food charity sector in the UK, is it really what you want to be doing? Is it, in fact, everyday food insecurity that you seek to support?  Continue reading

Reblogged from the Conversation: Capitalism has coopted the language of food-Costing the world millions of meals.

Capitalism has coopted the language of food – costing the world millions of meals

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SABPICS/Shutterstock.com

Megan Blake, University of Sheffield

Hardly a day goes by when food is not in the news. We are at once encouraged to eat Continue reading

Feeding Affordances and Decent Helpings. (Nearly) Final Report

I’ve just about finished the final report for the Feeding Affordances  project I did with Doncaster Council last year.  As a result, Doncaster is setting itself up as a sustainable food city  and is already doing fantastic things with its third sector organisations in its communities.  I am constantly awed by what people do to support each other.

I’ve uploaded the (nearly) final report from the project onto my academia.edu account if you are interested in reading it.  I welcome feedback on the content.  I would also really like to know if it gets used and helps to inform action or policy at local levels.  For either of these, or if you are struggling to download a copy, leave a message and I will get back to you.

Here is the synopsis of the report:

There is an emerging context of social support withdrawal as a result of funding withdrawal by central government is creating a context within which individuals, households and communities are having to increasingly seek support from third-sector organisations in the UK. This is happening through:

  • ⇒  The introduction and eventual rollout of Universal Credit are likely to contribute further to these inequalities, but there also may be opportunities for improving diets.
  • ⇒  A squeeze on the abilities of local authorities to support their communities as local authority remits have expanded to include addressing diet-related public health and public health inequalities, which include health inequalities that arise out of food poverty. Local authorities will also become responsible for supporting the way in which individuals and families will have to cope with the transition to Universal Credit. At the same time, as local authority remits are expanding they are facing draconian cuts to their budgets such that there are staff reductions resulting in cuts to the capacity of the LA to deliver programmes.
  • ⇒  There has been a rise in community and third-sector organisations who are concerned with helping to reduce health inequalities by helping to reduce food poverty.Given the importance that resilience is playing in helping local authorities to resolve the gaps that austerity is creating, it is clear that more research is needed that examines the dimensions of resilience (adapting, coping, transforming). Specifically with regard to how:
  • ⇒  Activities within these three areas can contributing to different scales of resilience (individual, household, community, and local authority area);
  • ⇒  How collectively activities within an area contribute to a landscape of resilience enabling support.A more collaborative approach may enable local authorities to better work with these third-sector organisations to best realise the possibilities that partnership could provide. Recommendations for more collaborative working are detailed in this report and are based on community-based research, participant observation, consultation with community organisations and local authorities, and the outcomes of a co-production workshop.

    This research was funded by ESRC IAA award number R/145185