Tackling food poverty in our borough
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020/21 has highlighted many inequalities that exist in our borough. One of the most striking discoveries has been the level of food insecurity being experienced by many residents of Hounslow. Having low food security or being food insecure means that, at times, a person’s food intake is reduced and their eating patterns are disrupted because of a lack of money and other resources for obtaining food.
From the start of the pandemic our charities and voluntary and community groups provided a lifeline to our most vulnerable residents and to families in need.
Foodbanks, faith groups and community organisations all increased the amount of free food they provided to people in need and we saw thousands of volunteers turn out to help this effort by packing and delivering food and collecting donations.
Very effective partnerships were established and this has now developed into the borough-wide Hounslow Food Network so that food providers and charities can collaborate to swap information, identify the demand for food and join forces to work together.
Collaboration between the Hounslow Food Network and the Council will support this new coordinated approach to addressing food poverty in Hounslow.
“When the pandemic started most of the families that we supported were on low incomes, but families are now coming to us because of losing work and becoming unemployed due to Covid-19.”
St Michael & St Martin Church Foodbank
- The Hounslow Food Network is very keen for any organisations who provide food support to join them. To learn more about how you can help them please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hounslow’s Food Action Plan
The Council has been working with the Hounslow Food Network to better understand the practical actions that need to be taken to address the problem of food insecurity, and in early 2021 we held a series of workshops with food charities and community groups to bring their their recommendations and their expertise into a new Food Action Plan.
Hounslow’s Food Action Plan has now been published and the organisations in the Hounslow Food Network have agreed to take the lead on the delivery of the proposed actions in collaboration with the Council. This new Food Action Plan will exist as a ‘live’ document; one that can be added to in the future as new issues and new priorities emerge.