Food Sense Wales and our response to the COVID-19 crisis:
last updated 15 January 2021
Food Sense Wales are dedicating our homepage as a hub for the latest information on our response to the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure that every household in Wales receives good food.
Please see and share our latest updates below:
Updated 15 January 2021
A time for change?
With the conversation around Free School Meals more prevalent than ever, Katie Palmer, Programme Manager at Food Sense Wales addresses the huge difficulties that many families face and discusses how reviewing Wales’ Free School Meals system could provide a possible solution.
Read the full article here
Updated 18 December 2020
Food Cardiff and UNICEF UK join forces to help support families in Cardiff
Food Cardiff's Food and Poverty group is to receive £17,000 worth of funding from UNICEF UK to support children and families at risk of food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time in its 70-year history, Unicef UK has moved to develop a UK domestic emergency response. ‘Food Power for Generation Covid’ is a joint initiative with Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, which will help provide food for vulnerable children and their families by awarding grants to UK community projects like Food Cardiff’s Food and Poverty Group.
Read more about the project here
Updated 17 December 2020
A Child’s Christmas in Wales?
As we start to look forward to the Christmas holidays, Katie Palmer, Programme Manager at Food Sense Wales addresses the difficulties that many families will face and discusses how reviewing Wales’ Free School Meals system could provide a possible solution.
Read the full piece here
Updated 10 December 2020
UK FOOD BUSINESSES HAVE SERVED 162 MILLION EXTRA PORTIONS OF VEG IN 3 YEARS AS A RESULT OF INNOVATIVE PEAS PLEASE INITIATIVE
The 2019-2020 progress report released on Monday 7th December by Peas Please – a project that works to make vegetables more appealing, accessible, and affordable – unpacks the ‘Veg Pledges’ made by 25 Veg Cities and 70 contract caterers, high street chains, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, public food procurers and broadcasters.
The report finds that an impressive 162 million additional portions of veg were either served or sold by these businesses as a direct result of the programme. The numbers in the report do however paint a picture of a food system hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 27% of organisations that are part of the scheme unable to report back this year due to capacity issues (the majority from the Out of Home sector, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by this sector).
Even with Covid-19 causing disruption across the food sector, the Peas Please initiative continued to deliver on its mission, with 72.1 million additional portions of veg being sold or served this year. This demonstrates remarkable progress in the right direction, despite the rate of increase slowing slightly as a result of the pandemic (approximately 13 million fewer additional portions were reported compared to last year.)
Read the full story here
Read the full report here
Updated 2 December 2020
Wales can have the most secure and sustainable food system in the world
On Thursday, December 3rd, Food Policy Alliance Cymru - a coalition of organisations and stakeholders building and promoting a collective vision for the Welsh food system – will be presenting its Manifesto to Senedd Cymru’s Cross Party Group on Food.
According to Food Policy Alliance Cymru, Wales needs a major transformation in its food system in order to protect public health, restore the environment and develop our rural economy.
In order to achieve this, Food Policy Alliance Cymru is calling on the next Welsh Government to create a new Food System Commission that will tackle a range of issues, including biodiversity decline and climate change; diet-related health problems, food insecurity and dependence on food banks as well as the financial hardship experienced by many producing and serving our food.
Read the Press Release here. You can also read the full Manifesto here
Updated 12 October 2020
Join us - Peas Please, Veg Power, and Veg Cities – as we bring together our community of cities, organisations, and individuals to discuss what place vegetables have in food policy, our diets, and the post-Covid-19 food environment. Free sign up here for a week of events starting on Monday 12th October. Food Sense Wales will be hosting webinar 6 How we can work together locally to encourage communities to take action on veg? and featuring Food Cardiff.
Updated 10 October 2020
Food Sense Wales will be taking part in a “watchparty” for World Food Day What are the links between food and poverty?
Updated 10 October 2020
Updated 9 October 2020
World Food day approaches
As World Food day approaches (Friday 16th October) keep an eye out on our twitter feeds @foodsensewales @FFLGT_Cymru @goodfoodcardiff @peaspleaseUK for details of how we will be marking the day.
Updated 18 September 2020
Katie discusses what the Future of Food in Wales may look like with an expert panel; Dr Amber Wheeler (Food Foundation), Gary Mitchell (Social Farms and Gardens) & Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy (Sustainable Places Institute, Cardiff University).
This event kick started the Good Food Cardiff’s Autumn Festival. For more events about growing, cooking and sharing food throughout the city visit https://foodcardiff.com/blog/autumnfestival2020/
Updated 10 September 2020
Updated 16 July 2020
Children in Wales want to know about your experiences and examples of how Coronavirus has impacted low income or disadvantaged families. This survey includes questions on food insecurity and closes on 29th July. Children in Wales are seeking to find out how Coronavirus has impacted low income and disadvantaged families and to gather evidence to bring about positive change for these children and families.
The Children’s Right2Food Campaign’s Young Food Ambassadors have published their new Children’s Right2Food Charter, which has been updated in light of the problems exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown, and provides an evidence-based road map for the government to ensure that every children has access to a healthy diet. The Charter is accompanied by a new report which points to a lack of action, slow progress and Covid-related delays in children’s food policy across all four UK nations, including Wales, despite two million children experiencing food insecurity since lockdown.
Updated 29 June 2020
A new report released by the Peas Please initiative, highlights that UK vegetable production fell by 12% between 2017 and 2018 , the lowest level of domestic horticulture production for over 20 years .
The new report, Veg Facts: in Brief, finds that the UK supplies just 52.7% of veg, with the majority of imported vegetables coming from Spain and the Netherlands.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today published the findings for waves one and two of the Covid-19 Consumer Tracker. Key findings show:
A distinct move towards more ‘local’ food purchasing behaviour - 35% said they had done so more often.
People reported wasting or throwing away food less often - 35% reported they had done so less often.
The number of people who have skipped meals or cut down on meal sizes due to not having enough money remained stable between April (18%) and May (16%).
The Welsh Government is publishing data on their response to Covid 19. The data includes Statistics on: social distancing, food parcels, discretionary assistance fund and support for business.
Updated 10 June 2020
Read more about the Sustainable Food City project to encourage people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The project, supported by Food Cardiff, has seen almost 14,000 plants, seeds and growing kits being distributed to families across Cardiff. Read more about this story on Wales Online .
BBC Food have highlighted the potential impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity, in a feature that includes a statement by Pearl Costello, Sustainable Food Cities Co-Ordinator for Food Cardiff. Read more about the call for data gathering and evidence to better monitor food insecurity in Wales here
Updated 3 June 2020
Hear from our Progamme Manager Katie Palmer, who features on the latest podcast from Cardif and Vale University Health Board, discussing food insecurity and the food system, and how it’s been affected by COVID-19.
The Trussell Trust reports a soaring 89% increase in need for emergency food parcels during April 2020 compared to the same month last year, including a 107% rise in parcels given to children.
Across the UK, a coalition of charities, including the Trussell Trust, IFAN, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), Children’s Society, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), StepChange and Turn2us, is also urging the UK government to act quickly in providing a stronger lifeline to families to prevent many children from being swept into destitution.
Read more here
Updated 26 May 2020
With most of the food services sector closed, good seasonal veg is at risk of going to waste.
are starting #SeasonalVeg campaign and are asking all food lovers to help. Find out more and offer your support: http://www.vegpower.org.uk/register
Updated 22 May 2020
The last few weeks have heightened inequalities in the UK and shone a spotlight on issues surrounding children's access to food. During this challenging time, we explore what options there are to protect every child's nutrition and how this might be introduced and implemented.
Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, and the Mayor's Fund for London, a pan-London children's charity championing social mobility for young Londoners, have brought together leaders from across the industry to discuss ways in which we can tackle food insecurity and champion children’s right to food through our work.
The webinar will be held on Thu, 28 May 2020 from 13:00 – 14:00
To register, please
Updated 22 May 2020
New data published by our partners at the Food Foundation shows food insecurity affecting nearly five million adults in the UK with no plan for government help.
For more detail on this story,
To find out more about the Food Foundation’s COVID-19 tracker,
Updated 11 May 2020
With the food system under pressure during the Covid-19 outbreak, Food Cardiff launches its
Good Food Response
Food Cardiff is coordinating city-wide action with members including; Cardiff Council, Cardiff 3rd Sector Council, Fareshare Cymru, Trussell Trust and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, to support vulnerable people and to promote the positive changes which are being made in response to the lockdown.
Updated 11 May 2020
Welsh Government has launched a social media campaign to help raise awareness of the
Discretionary Assistance fund
– an emergency fund for those that might find themselves in extreme financial hardship for reasons including delays in benefit payments. The Emergency Assistance payment element of the fund could help cover the cost of food, gas and electricity, clothing and emergency travel.
Updated 5 May 2020
from the Food Foundation by Dr Amber Wheeler shows that veg box sales in the UK have increased by 111% in six weeks as a result of Covid 19. This builds on
we collated specifically for Wales together with Cardiff University, Tyfu Cymru and Peas Please in Wales.
Updated 4 May 2020
by Jane Powell via the Sustainable Food Trust and featuring
, highlights the role local authorities could have in shaping food systems in the light of their central role in the Covid 19 food response.
Updated 4 May 2020
New data from the
shows more than five million people living in households with children under 18 have experienced food insecurity after just a month of lockdown
Updated 3 May 2020
Dr Ludivine Petetin, from Cardiff University, said changes in global markets could lead to a worldwide food shortage in the coming months
Updated 1 May 2020
The Welsh Government is increasing the amount of funding for the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) so it can support the calls for financial help from people across Wales
Updated 1 May 2020
A national engagement survey conducted weekly by Public Health Wales is revealing the impact of Coronavirus on physical, mental and social wellbeing. Its shows that 28% of people are worried about accessing food, 35% of people hadn’t left their house in the previous week to shop for food and 38% of people are snacking more.
Updated 22 April 2020
The Welsh Government has announced it will continue funding free school meals for eligible children during the summer holidays. Moving away from a National Voucher scheme money has been made available to Local Authorities to provide free school meals through:
- A bank transfer to families eligible for free school meals
- The provision of vouchers
- The delivery of food items to the families of pupils who receive free school meals
Updated 16 April 2020
What does Covid 19 mean for Food insecurity in Wales?
Zoom Briefing Tuesday 21st April 11am-12pm
Figures released this week from a You Gov Poll commissioned by the Food Foundation and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission show that more than 3 Million adults in Britain (6%) report that someone in their household has gone hungry in the first 3 weeks of lock down.
Food Sense Wales will be holding an online briefing to take a look at what this data means for Wales. What are the challenges for ensuring everyone is receiving the food they need? What is the current state of play in Wales and what should we be asking of Government?
- Picture in Wales – current food response to crisis (Katie Palmer, Food Sense Wales)
- Food Insecurity data for UK and Wales – You Gov Poll (Anna Taylor, Food Foundation)
- Government Asks – UK and Wales
- Questions and discussion
To attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a link.
Updated 14 April 2020
Latest research into food insecurity during COVID-19 crisis
Our partners at the Food Foundation have released the results from their latest research into food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. The results received extensive news coverage;
It was covered in the Financial Times, The Guardian, Metro, Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail, Sun, Talk Radio, LBC and BBC news – please find the full press release here.
Read more about the poll via the COVID-19 tracker on the Food Foundation website along with the data visualisations.
Peas Please, Tyfu Cymru and Cardiff University have conducted a survey with producers of fruit and veg in Wales to help us understand the immediate experiences of and responses to the Covid 19 crisis.
Read more here
Updated 6 April 2020
New rules have been published by the Welsh Government in order to protect workers during the coronavirus outbreak will come into force on Tuesday morning. These rules may have implications for the food and drink industry and community groups / third sector organisations supporting Food Aid.
More information is available here
The first food boxes are being delivered to the doorsteps of people who are adopting strict shielding measures to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Read more on this here
Updated 31 March 2020
FAMILIES IN THE UK ARE BORROWING MONEY TO BUY FOOD JUST A WEEK INTO LOCKDOWN
Read more here
Updated 30 March 2020
Emergency online Summit on how the Covid19 crisis is affecting fruit and vegetable growing in Wales
The Sustainable Places Research Institute (Cardiff University) supported by Tyfu Cymru and Peas Please are convening an emergency online Summit on how the Covid19 crisis is affecting fruit and vegetable growing in Wales. This is an opportunity to share how the crisis is affecting growers and what support is needed. Afterwards we will convey the key messages to Government.
Summit start: Thursday 2nd April at 4.00-5.00pm
To join the Summit you will need the link to the online Zoom meeting. Please email email@example.com to receive the link.
If you are a grower you are invited to complete the online questionnaire to help inform the meeting and establish key issues https://cardiff.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/c19-emergency-horticulture-survey
Updated 27 March 2020
Millions to need food aid in days as virus exposes UK supply
Our partners at the Food Foundation warn of spiral of hunger unless government intervenes. Read more here
Updated 26 March 2020
The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
Click here for more information.
Across Wales there are significant differences in life expectancy between those in the least deprived areas and most deprived areas, within Local Authorities across Wales.
Diet, both in terms of food options available and food consumed, has a part to play in this life expectancy. The Covid-19 crisis will exacerbate this and it is important to act quickly to support households across Wales.
Food Cardiff have created a briefing for Local Authorities, providing details of the urgent steps they can take to ensure all households are provided with food during this time.
As members of the End Child Poverty Network Cymru, the network have released a statement in response to the Welsh Governments school closures to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full statement, supported by the Minister for Education in Wales, can be read here.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, the Wales Anti-Poverty Coalition, of which we are a member, have written an open letter to Welsh Government, outlining our concerns for people in poverty in Wales, and to offer recommendations to inform Welsh Government’s response. Read the letter here.