The next UK Liaison event of 2007 will be held in November in Belfast, discussing Affordability and Healthy Diets: Food access on a low income.
Food Access forum development
The July meeting of this forum, held jointly by FAN and London Food Link, discussed food access and older people. Lisa gave a presentation on her recent work; Greenwich Age Concern and Newham Food Access Partnership also presented their findings from consultation with local older people.
FAN is also establishing a North East Food Access Forum, working with the Newcastle Healthy City Project and Gateshead Healthy Communities Project (both FAN members).
Sarah Cannon has been visiting projects across the South East to build new relationships and explore local networks. She met with Brighton & Hove Unemployed Families Centre and Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, and has been in contact with the Care Co-op Community Farm and Whitehawk Community Food Project. In addition, Lisa met with the South East Public Health Group, which co-ordinates the Fresh Ideas Network, to develop contacts in the wider South East.
Food Access and older people
Lisa has been in discussion with the International Longevity Centre (ILC) to re-establish a network of organisations that first contributed to policy recommendations to tackle malnutrition among older people in the community. A planning meeting with key organisations working in this area took place on 11 October.
The network newsletter FANMail was published in August with the next edition due in November 2007.
Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey
FAN has been contracted to help co-ordinate what is expected to the first in a series of stakeholder meetings held by the Food Standards Agency to address the issues emerging from the Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey.
FAN has Department of Health, Section 64 funding secured until March 2008. Lisa is now exploring a range of other funding opportunities.
Our next UK Liaison event will be in Belfast on Thursday 8th November 'Affordability and Healthy Diets: Food Access on a Low Income'. Contact Sarah or Lisa for more information
London Food Access Forum
The London Food Access Forum meetings are held jointly by FAN and London Food Link and the group is continuing to explore ways to develop the forum. A meeting to discuss food access and older people was held on 17th July. The next meeting is due to be held in November.
North East Food Access Forum
FAN is in the process of establishing a North East Food Access Forum, working with the Newcastle Healthy City Project. The first meeting will be held at the Quaker Meeting House in Newcastle on Friday 5th October. It is hoped the meetings will become a regular occurrence.
London Health Inequalities Strategy
The Mayor of London is consulting on his Health Inequalities Strategy and asking stakeholders to consider whether the issues and opportunites set out in the consultation document reflect the reality of health inequalities in London and whether the proposed options are the right ones to address these issues. The Mayor's office will be holding a number of consultation events between now and November which FAN will be attending. We have also submitted a written response. (Download response as a 115kb pdf)
Lisa is in discussions with partners to re-establish a network of organisations that developed policy recommendations to tackle malnutrition among older people in the community. We are aiming to hold a meeting this autumn.
Stay in touch with FANMail
Look out for the next edition of FANMail due out in November which as usual will include news, events, articles and interviews with members.
Having secured some funding for 2007/08 from the Food Standards Agency we have given a six-month part-time contract to former FAN volunteer Sarah Cannon. Sarah will focus on the UK Liaison project as well as supporting the LFL Food Access Forum.
Following discussion with the partner organisations in other countries (Community Food & Health Scotland, Nutrition Network for Wales and Healthy Food for All in Ireland), it was agreed that we should arrange themed events to facilitate networking opportunities for attendees.
London Food Access Forum
London Food Access meetings held jointly each quarter by FAN and London Food Links continue to be well attended. The next meeting will be in May and will discuss food access and older people, with a policy presentation from Lisa.
Supermarket policy work
We continue to encourage network members to submit evidence to the Competition Commission through our online submission form. Hannah Lewis (FAN volunteer) has summarised Commission documents for the FAN working party and other interested parties.
Lisa continues to be involved in the Cracking the Code/Breaking the Armlock Coalition with Friends of the Earth and other partners, as well as the Planning Remedies Group. The planning group wrote a joint response to the Competition Commission's “emerging thinking” document outlining the dangers of removing some of the current restrictions to the planning process.
FAN remains a member of this coalition, which is trying to raise funds for a campaign during the run up to the general election expected in 2008. There are approximately 20 organisations involved at this stage.
In April, Lisa attended a consultation meeting on a proposal from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to develop guidance for public health interventions to reduce health inequalities in the UK. Lisa will continue to be involved as guidance develops.
The Mayor of London's office put out a call for evidence as a first step towards producing a Health Inequalities Strategy for London. The FAN will consult local projects and develop recommendations.
New areas of work
Lisa continues to work on a report examining older people's perceptions of food access and their ideas to solve the problems.
Lisa was approached by FAN member Magic Breakfast to look at ways in which we can support their policy work. She is working with Courtney Van de Weyer (who is also a trustee of Magic Breakfast) to hold meetings to determine interest from other organisations in a possible campaign around breakfast provision for school children.
We continue to update and improve the FAN website. Applications from new members continue to come in at the rate of about five per month. The first issue, in February, of the newly renamed and redesigned newsletter, FANMail, was well received. May's edition will include articles on social enterprise, working with retailers, and food strategies.
FAN has DH Section 64 funding secured until March 2008, so Lisa is already exploring future funding opportunities.
The second UK Liaison event was held on 7 November 2006 at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. This one-day event was attended by 55 people from community food projects across the UK. Following a successful evaluation report, the Food Standards Agency has agreed to continue to fund the project for another year, and review the arrangement after more events have been held in 2007/8.
Lisa has been discussing joint work on food access with the charity Age Concern which, initially, may take the form of a research report updating Lisa's previous work on food access and older people. This would be published by Age Concern England. In addition, Age Concern England is seeking funding for Lisa to provide their regional offices with training on food access problems and how they can be overcome to help address malnutrition among older people in the community. Lisa is also in the early stages of finding funding for a review of Community Meals services in London. The aim is to highlight the inconsistencies in the Meals on Wheels services available for older people and then develop a campaign to improve both consistency and quality.
A report on emerging thinking by the Competition Commission inquiry into the grocery market was published this spring, but the results of the inquiry are not expected until the summer, so the Competition Commission is continuing to accept responses until May 2007. The Food Access Network continues to encourage members to become involved, for example, by filling in and sending our online submission form.
Similarly, Lisa continues to monitor the development of the Anti-Poverty Coalition.
Sustain is drawing on the project's experience with participatory food mapping techniques to work with lead partner, Campaign to Protect Rural England, in a funding bid co-ordinated by the Plunkett Foundation to the Big Lottery fund. If the funding bid is successful, work will begin in September.
London Food Access meetings held jointly by FAN and Sustain’s London Food Link continue to be a success and are regularly well attended.
The Food Access Network database has been extensively reviewed and updated along with the Sustain website as a whole. Plans include a members only section with information on funding and forthcoming events.
The database now has updated information on over 250 community food projects from across the UK.
The newsletter for the Food Access Network will be changing its name to FAN Mail for the February 2007 issue. The next issue will include articles on homelessness in Scotland, the impact of the Olympics in Greenwich, and a community project in Wales, as well as the usual news, events and interviews.