Furthering our work in the borough related to the theme of food, in May of this year Sustainable Merton was instructed by Merton Council to support them by leading and coordinating delivery of year one of the two-year Merton Food Poverty Action Plan. An operations group which, includes community organisations as well, was established in June and just had its second meeting last week. The aims of this work is to develop and improve links between food providers and beneficiaries, make better use of surplus food, help to reduce food waste and increase volunteering in food poverty related groups.
Sustainable Merton is very happy to play a key role in this work to improve life for Merton residents as related to better food use, reduced waste and building on the great body of existing work in our community.
One programme listed in the plan is called Healthy Start and for this issue of the e-news we’d like to highlight this programme for anyone interested in learning more. Healthy Start provides free vouchers for food including milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, infant formula and vitamins to applicants who qualify.
More details about the programme, including how to apply, where vouchers can be used and what food items can by purchased using the vouchers are available on their website.
Our research has unearthed several food initiatives in the borough that offer vital support to combat food poverty.
Some examples are the wonderful work done by Wimbledon Foodbank and Faith in Action, both of whom rely on food donations.
Diana Sterck, Interim CEO of Sustainable Merton, commented "A project we would love to work on is matching those that are in the business of food (supermarkets, producers, distributors and restaurants and pubs) to those that help those who are in food poverty. Anyone interested in getting involved, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org"
We will let you know more about the progress of the Merton Food Poverty Action Plan in future e-news editions.
Food Poverty Action Project Coordinator