Reports / Food Poverty

Telling stories and shaping solutions: A toolkit for empowering people who have lived experience of food poverty

This toolkit provides guidance and case studies on empowering people with lived experience of food poverty to make change happen.


There is currently a lack of voice for grassroots people, those who are experiencing food poverty and hunger, their peers and allies within their community, both within the sector and more widely within society. We believe individuals with direct experience at a grassroots level should play an active role in identifying and advocating for long term solutions to the issues they face. By doing this, projects, policy, support and interventions are better designed for the people they are designed to help. Put simply, it’s about giving those at a grassroots level the power they are too often denied, to make change happen.

This toolkit covers:

  • Why involve people with lived experience?
  • Why do people want to get involved?
  • Who are the people we want to empower?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What do we mean by empowerment?
  • Recruiting people to become involved
  • Minding our language
  • Four core principles and case studies
    • Co-production
    • Building relationships
    • Influencing and impact
    • Building a social movement
  • Advice for people with lived experience who get involved
  • Practical consideration

Toolkit written by Ben Pearson, Church Action on Poverty, with Maddie Guerlain and Simon Shaw, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Telling stories and shaping solutions: A toolkit for empowering people who have lived experience of food poverty
24pp - 2020 | 4997Kb


Published 27 Feb 2020

Food Poverty: Over 10 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. We’re working to change that through people-powered projects and campaigns that tackle the root causes of food poverty and ensure everyone has dignified access to healthy, affordable food.

24pp - 2020


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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.

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