Liskeard & Looe Foodbank

This rural foodbank is piloting new ways to tackle the root causes of food insecurity.

Grant Type
UK
Focus
Social Inclusion
Date
2023
Partner

Nestled within the picture postcard landscapes of Southeast Cornwall are communities quietly grappling with the challenges of rural poverty.

“Cornwall has a higher-than-average level of deprivation compared with the rest of the UK,” explains John Ede, Director of the Liskeard & Looe Foodbank. The organisation has been tackling poverty and hunger in the country since 2010, by providing emergency food parcels, essential household items and financial support to individuals and families facing adversity.

“Communities here face higher living costs than many parts of England. This is exacerbated by a tourism-dependent economy that has led to a lack of affordable housing, limited seasonal employment prospects and low wages.

“The number of emergency parcels we deliver increases every year, so it’s more important than ever that we create initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of food insecurity.”

One such initiative is the Eat-Well-Spend-Less program, tailored to the needs of rural primary schools. Supported by the Bennelong Foundation, this program promotes healthy eating habits among children and families by empowering them to make nutritious and cost-effective food choices.

Local schools partner with the Foodbank to provide students and their carers with resources and workshops that teach practical skills for meal planning and preparing wholesome meals on a limited budget. This includes the Eat Well Spend Less program’s recipe and meal planner.

“Cornwall has been the home of healthy, frugal meals for generations, and this program continues that tradition,” John says.

“By addressing both the nutritional and financial aspects of food insecurity, the program is improving the overall well-being and resilience within these communities.”

Extending the reach of the service

Building on the success of the Eat-Well-Spend-Less program, the Foodbank is piloting the extension of its service to three new areas in Cornwall - Dobwalls South, Menheniot and St Cleer, and the Coastal Area of Looe.

This pilot program was initiated after a review of the Foodbank’s food voucher data. This highlighted a disparity between the services provided and the needs of families dependent on welfare in these locations.

Supported by the Bennelong Foundation, the pilot’s main aim is to provide advice and support to families in these areas, helping them maximise their income and access emergency food and financial assistance.

The Foodbank will train 15 ‘pathfinder’ volunteers to connect with families in the area. It will help them to identify any unclaimed benefits and connect them with other support. They will form partnerships with crisis and care organisations and community pharmacists and host awareness-raising talks with parish councils and community groups. The program will organise cooking demonstrations in schools and village halls to promote healthy eating and economic cooking practices.

The Liskeard & Looe Foodbank is the sole Rural “Pathfinder Foodbank” within the Trussell Trust Network, which is the central body supporting food banks across the UK. As a ‘Pathfinder’, the foodbank is empowered to pilot innovative approaches to reduce need in their local areas.

Read more about Liskeard & Looe Foodbank here.

Impactful results

The Benefit

Liskeard & Looe Foodbank as enabled families in Cornwall to access the food and education they need to fully take part in society.

Outcome

Barriers that cause social exclusion are being broken down.

Outcome

More opportunities to participate in society, both social and economic.

The number of emergency parcels we deliver increases every year, so it’s more important than ever that we create initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of food insecurity.

John Ede

Liskeard & Looe Foodbank

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