Working together to increase food resilience in Shrewsbury.
With the onset of COVID-19 Shrewsbury saw a 130% increase of the number of people on Universal Credit. Research also suggests that 54 % of jobs in Shropshire are at risk in the coming recession. Against the backdrop of these challenges we joined forces with Shrewsbury Food Bank, undertaking a study to explore whether community food support could be expanded to help prepare for the tough times ahead.
The key outcomes were:
· Clarity on roles. The study helped make clear the difference between our role as Food Hub, providing good but unpredictable surplus food which helps plug gaps in stretched food budgets, and the Food Bank who provide emergency food parcels and support people in financial crisis.
· Signposting leaflet. The study also highlighted the need for signposting leaflet to help people identify where they can access support in Shrewsbury. This was created and shared widely. You can download the leaflet here:
FoodShares, where people can collect bags of good food leftover from the supermarkets, were expanded. We worked with old partners to run FoodShares in a COVID-19 secure way, and had new groups engage with the Food Hub as a result of the study. With further resources (venues, know-how, and staff and volunteer time) some schools and local churches could potentially cook community meals for delivery or run Foodshares. Other options presented by the Food Hub were to develop local food clubs or co-ops. You can read the full report below: