2008 project updates
The final UK Liaison event of the 2007/08 contract with the Food Standards Agency was held in April at the Wales Millennium Centre. The theme was food access and older people, and Sarah worked with the Nutrition and Physical Activity Network for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and members of the Food Access Network on the workshops and presentations for the event. The meeting coincides with the publication of The Strategy for Older People in Wales: Living Longer Living Better.
The Food Standards Agency has still not produced a note from the November 2007 meeting to discuss the policy implications of the Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey, which concluded that the FSA had a role to play in co-ordinating work across government departments. Sustain will pursue this.
The most recent edition of FANMail was published in April 2008.
Future of the network
Sustain is now exploring how best to maintain and develop the network, with options including merger with Food Links UK and possible integration with local food activities within Sustain, such as Making Local Food Work.
The third UK Liaison event of 2007 was held in Belfast on 8 November 2007. The theme Affordability and Healthy Diets: Food Access on a Low Income proved popular, and the event was again oversubscribed. The final event of the 2007/08 contract with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will be held in March 2008 in Wales on the theme of older people. Unfortunately, despite the success of these events, budget cuts and changing priorities at the FSA mean that the Agency has decided not to fund a new series of events in 2008/9.
The London Food Access meetings continue to be held regularly. The last meeting was held on 27 November focusing on engaging the community and was hosted by A Moveable Feast in Westminster, who also presented the work they have been doing on community consultation.
Following the first, well-attended meeting of the North East Food Access Forum, on 5 October 2007 in Newcastle, it was agreed the group should respond to the consultation on the public health strategy for the North East. The next meeting will be held on 31 January.
Food access and older people
Lisa organised a meeting, hosted by Age Concern England, on 30 November 2007 to discuss current and planned work by community projects, dietitians and older people's organisations to address food access and malnutrition among older people.
The British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition is currently working with a sheltered housing charity to test a method of community-based screening for malnutrition. In the meantime FAN will work with Age Concern to map activity on food access among older people in England and increase awareness of food poverty issues for older people.
Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey
Lisa attended the meeting on 5 November, organised by the Food Standards Agency and FAN, to discuss the policy implications of the Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey. The meeting recommended that the FSA had a role to play in co-ordinating work across government departments in the area of food, health and income.
We are continuing to work towards updating and improving the Food Access Network website with plans to redesign the main FAN-UK pages between January and March 2008. The most recent edition of FANmail was published in December 2007.
The Department of Health funding ends in March 2008. FAN has been unsuccessful so far in securing further funding but continues too pursue possible sources.