Food is often described as a gateway in community food projects for bringing people together and offering benefits which go far beyond food and nutrition. Many projects find that in operating welcoming, dignified food spaces which are places people want to be in, trusting relationships build, and people feel more comfortable in accessing support services available locally.

Linking community food projects with holistic wraparound support services such as benefits and debt advice, wellbeing services, skills and employability, and housing support can help people access these services who otherwise might not. For people experiencing food insecurity and other issues, this can help to address the root causes of why a person or household is experiencing difficulty. Community food projects are also great places to link up and signpost to available resources and services for particular groups such as parents, refugees and people seeking asylum, the LGBTQ+ community and others.

The organisation may host their own support services, partner with external services to offer wraparound support on site or refer people on to external services. Whichever approach is taken, monitoring referrals to support services is important to help with project evaluation.

Operational requirements to have wraparound support services on site include:

Premises & Equipment       

  • IT Equipment
  • Desk & Chairs
  • Signage
  • Private room for interviews      

Compliance & policy           

(Depends upon provider)

  • Health & Safety
  • Advice accreditation
  • Safeguarding Level 3
  • Insurance
  • DBS
  • Employment Law
  • Data Protection


  • External provider/practitioner or internal providers

Staffing/ Volunteers           

Internal providers

  • Skills, knowledge & experience
  • Induction & Training
  • Job Descriptions and Person specifications
  • Detailed task description
  • Volunteer role description
  • Pay, conditions, benefits and employment practice

External providers

  • Agreement with external partner


Download sample list of policies and procedures for possible procedures & policies.

Financial management & funding model (see Managing your finances section).

Budgets to include Startup budget, income & expenditure, income including grant, income, commissioned & donations (see Managing your finances section).

Alternatively, the service could be fully funded by an external provider. Consider if the external provider would pay rent for room use.

Good Food Enterprise: Working to provide food that is good for people and the planet, and support local production playing a part in community beyond trading.

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244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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