This quarter we have been supporting the following projects to evaluate their activities:
- Bellingham Food Co-op, Lewisham
- Hind Grove Food Co-op, Tower Hamlets
- Mobile Food Store, Canning Town
- South Acton Food Co-op, Ealing
- Woodberry Down Food Co-op, Hackney.
We have been analysing all the Buywell project evaluation data and writing case studies, as the project comes to an end in March 2011. We have been helping other Buywell projects with their exit strategies for when funding ends and tying up the finances for these projects.
We are also supporting the implementation of the Buywell Retail project in Camden, selecting two convenience stores to work with to improve access to fresh fruit and vegetables in low-income areas.
We have been working with food partners in Buywell areas to evaluate their projects. Working with the University of East London and London Sustainability Exchange, we are developing appropriate methods to measure the impact of Buywell.
In September the Buywell Retail Project final report was released and we have been using what has been learned from this project to help Camden and Richmond local authorities to plan and set up similar retail projects.
We also contintue to provide Buywell project partners with one-to-one advice and support on running their food projects. Buywell has also supported SureStart Hounslow to set up a volunteer recruitment and training programme which aims to build a strong local team to help run the food box scheme, community café and kitchen garden.
We have also helped to secure investment from NHS Barking and Dagenham into the Well London Super Output Area Becontree Heath where they have agreed to test a project with fast food outlets. It aims to provide much needed support for takeaway businesses in the target area to help them cook and promote healthier options.
Most of the Well London Buywell projects are now running and we have been providing individual project support and advice to Buywell partners to help them to improve their operations and monitor and evaluate their projects.
We also continue to try and influence retailers in areas targeted by the Well London project who participated in the Buywell Retail project to sell more fresh fruit and vegetables. In April we ran a workshop for London boroughs to learn about running retail projects to improve access to fruit and vegetables in low-income areas of London.
We are currently designing a pilot project with the Council and NHS in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to work with fast food outlets, in Becontree Heath Super Output Area, to encourage them to adopt healthier cooking methods. This scheme will tie in with recent planning legislation in the borough to limit the opening of new fast food outlets.
Since the launch of the retail project, we have been providing individual support to shops in Well London areas. Increases in sales of fruit and vegetables have been maintained in most of the shops in the months since the changes were made, with an average increase of 60% across 15 stores. We’ve been helping retailers find more affordable suppliers of sustainable fruit and vegetables and overcome any difficulties they have been facing in trying to sell more fresh produce.
We also supported Aardvark Recycling Ltd, a South London social enterprise specialising in food waste to launch a new food co-op with local residents in Lambeth. We ran a food co-ops training day on 19 February and have provided mentoring and exchange visits for volunteers. We have also been supporting SureStart Hounslow to carry out a food access needs assessment and plan their food project development.
The fourth Gherkin newsletter for London community food projects was produced and circulated in association with London Food Link.