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Roundtable Discussion leads the way on food poverty in Kensington and Chelsea

On 28 February 2017, KCSC held a roundtable event on food poverty.  Read the highlights from the discussions where a total of 31 people participated.    

Key points

  • Food banks often need more funding, storage space, vehicles
  • Foodbanks rely on volunteers and so volunteers need to be well supported
  • Volunteers from the St Luke’s one that closed down are interested in supporting any new food bank set up in the borough, the will is definitely there amongst volunteers. 
  • Trussell Trust is currently developing some training on sign posting for volunteers to be able to effectively refer foodbank users to other services.
  • There can be an issue with users having to carry heavy bags home over long distances. It would be good if all referrers inform and advise users for visiting a food bank e.g. suggesting they bring bags/a wheelie case.  Users can be advised on taking a wheelie case or bag with wheels when being referred.
  • Foodbanks are seeing more people with mental health needs.  Better joining up of how to refer people for help is needed
  • Cllrs should be actively encouraged to visit foodbanks
  • Volunteers can be trained on the healthy starts programme where families are given vouchers to purchase healthy food at Portobello market stalls. Find out more here

Key actions

  • Improve coordination across the system – particularly in referring people with mental health needs to places of support.  KCSC will promote the new Mental Health Navigator service once up and running.
  • Potential new food bank in K&C could be on the horizons.  KCSC to try and follow development of this and update the sector.
  • Link cases for funding/support for food banks in K&C to wellbeing and nutrition.  KCSC to follow up with RBKC Early Help Department.
  • All to promote healthy start vouchers (volunteers can be trained) – leaflets will be left in the KCSC office for organisations to collect.
  • KCSC to inform Cllr Weale that H&F foodbank would be happy to extend an invitation to visit the foodbank which is now being used by K&C residents. 
  • KCSC to send slides from the presentations and link to foodbank research by Esmee Fairbairn

Read the report - Is it appropriate to use surplus food to feed people in hunger? A report that argues that food aid providers such as foodbanks are only a sticking plaster and does not adequately address food insecurity - What do you think?

Find out more about Dad's House Food Bank here

Presentation on the Healthy Start Vouchers

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