Food Power was a project that ran from 2017 – 2021 and worked with local communities across the UK to strengthen their ability to reduce food poverty and tackle its root causes. Food Sense Wales worked with Sustain and Church Action on Poverty as part of a successful bid to develop solutions to food poverty through local alliances and people powered change.
Food Sense Wales was responsible for co-ordinating and developing alliances in Wales, including the North Wales Food Poverty Alliance; South Wales Food Poverty Alliance; Food Cardiff Food Poverty Alliance, Merthyr Food Alliance and Good Food Flintshire.
In Cardiff, people are now able to access affordable healthy food, thanks to a project initiated by the Food Cardiff Poverty Alliance. ACE (Action in Caerau & Ely) set up the Dusty Forge Pantry in July 2019 which is run and used by people living in the Ely and Caerau areas of Cardiff. The project is part of the Your Local Pantry network and was the first of its kind in Wales. Cardiff now has a network of four pantries with Wyndham Street Pantry opening in May 2020, Llanrumney Hall Pantry which opened in September 2020 and the Trowbridge Pantry which opened in June 2021.
After conducting a piece of research into the uptake and spending potential of Healthy Start vouchers, it became clear that awareness of the scheme was low with some frontline staff. Through partnership working with the Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team, Cardiff Council’s Money Advice Team and the Cardiff and Vale University Hospital Board dietetic team, the Food Cardiff Poverty Alliance developed a training package to support frontline staff to raise awareness and uptake of food schemes, adopting a train-the-trainer approach to maximise reach. This is now being developed as a digital module within the Nutrition Skills for Life Programme nationally across Wales.
In December 2020, Food Cardiff’s Food Poverty Alliance received £17,000 worth of funding to support children and families at risk of food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic, as part of the Food Power for Generation Covid initiative. The funding received was used to train and support community volunteers to cook and deliver pre-cooked nutritious meals to vulnerable families in Cardiff
And through Food Power, Food Sense Wales also supported the UKRI funded research project – Food Vulnerability During Covid – which mapped and monitored responses addressing concerns about insufficient food access during the COVID-19 outbreak across the UK. This saw both Swansea and Food Cardiff providing key evidence.