Nourish Scotland and the Poverty Truth Commission have released a report that aims to be a practical resource to help projects think about what dignity looks like in practice and how this can be achieved.
Dignity in Practice looks at how a number of people who are experiencing food insecurity face not only the lack of adequate food they also often have to face feeling shame and disempowerment, experiencing social stigma and being isolated. Community food initiatives can have a positive and important role to play in protecting and restoring people’s sense of dignity.
The report builds on the Dignity Principles developed by the Independent Group on Food Poverty and adopted by the Scottish Government to underpin its work to tackle food insecurity; and established that in practice, dignity means feeling:
• A sense of control
• Able to take part in community life
• Nourished and supported
• Involved in decision-making
• Valued and able to contribute
They have also published a document with a series of exercises for community food providers to enable them to put dignity at the heart of their project.
Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities said:
“We are committed to working in partnership to develop dignified responses to food insecurity in Scotland. Communities have a vital role to play in this, and it is really inspiring to see how the work of organisations like Bridging the Gap is helping local people access healthy, nutritious food in dignified ways.
“I want to see more of this kind of activity across the country and I am delighted that our £1 million a year Fair Food Fund is enabling Nourish Scotland to support our vibrant Third Sector to build a community food movement in Scotland grounded in dignity and justice.”
Chelsea Marshall, Dignity Project Manager at Nourish Scotland said:
“Communities cannot be held responsible for, or bear the disproportionate burden of, food insecurity in Scotland. But, with appropriate investment, the community food sector is well placed to promote and restore dignity at a local level.
“This resource is a practical guide for community organisations working hard to promote and restore dignity in response to food insecurity.
“At every stage of this project we worked closely with staff, volunteers and people taking part in a wide range of community food initiatives to understand how the Dignity Principles developed by the Independent Group on Food Poverty and adopted by the Scottish Government can be implemented in practice.”
Food Poverty: Over 8 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. Sustain is working with communities, third-sector organisations, local authorities and government, aiming to make sure everyone can eat well.
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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.