I am sharing here the final report for that I have written for a project that I did with Doncaster Council Public Health. The research with Doncaster examined some of the ways that community organizations help to support household and community food related resilience as well as considering how to build on the potential for local authority and third sector collaboration.
The project emerged from Festival of Social Sciences Decent Helpings event that I held where participants collectively identified areas where they felt further research was needed concerning the food and poverty nexus. The event raised the questions and Doncaster wanted to pursue them locally. This was supported by a workshop that drew participants from across the UK.
As a result of the research, I have had the opportunity to present the work to both academic and non-academic audiences, and was even on a BBC1 Sunday Morning Live episode in early September! I have drawn on the work to inform how I support a number of organisations, including the work I am doing with Greater Manchester Poverty Action.
Perhaps most importantly, Doncaster has taken the research forward though forming a Food Partnership with membership including community organisations and the public health and communities team. This has resulted in successful bid to become the 50th Sustainable Food City in the UK and the formation of Good Food Doncaster, which is now a charity organisation. Good Food Doncaster has also successfully won a Food Power grant, which is lottery funded and supported by Sustain and Church Action on Poverty (https://www.sustainweb.org/foodpower/about/). With this Doncaster will develop a plan to address food scarcity and lack of access for low income residents. This is very exciting as this will be a collaborative effort between the local authority and organisations working to support hunger in Doncaster through generating a more transparent network of organisations, by listening to communities, and by providing real action through collaboration. This all started with your input at the Decent Helpings event, so thank you.
One final word about the report, while the project is finished, this is a rapidly changing landscape and requires further research and learning and action! If you have comments on the document or if you find it useful for the work you are doing, I would very much like to know, so please be in touch.