Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Ensuring all communities have adequate access to food is important, now more than ever.
Everyone is being faced with rising food costs, rising energy and fuel bills, and facing tougher decisions than ever. Considering multiple other issues within the food supply chain, too, we have noticed significant development in the role played by our services here at CFINE. Further, in everything from ensuring families across the city have access to food- in the immediate term- to wider support opportunities, such as Cash first interventions and access to dignified community opportunities such as community pantries- across the longer term- sustainable and good food is playing a really important role, too.
Today is the Scottish Food Coalition’s “good food nation- day of action.” Organisations across Scotland, such as FareShare Scotland, Nourish Scotland, and Citizens Advice Scotland, as well as community organisations across the country are gathering outside the Scottish Parliament to highlight the importance of an integrated, all-encompassing approach to ensuring that nobody needs to feel the pressure of not being able to put food on the table. In December of last year, CFINE submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s Call for Views on the good food nation bill. In our response, we highlighted:
The “Right to Food” is a vital step and must be implemented as soon as possible.
Integrated approaches towards sustainable food issues- including the Local Food Plan and the Right To food, as well as those covered by the good food nation, are vital.
CFINE is supportive of an independent commission to oversee the coordination and accountability of the good food nation ambition
That, where “relevant authorities” need to act and plan, that government resource covers this, preventing “relevant authorities” from having to absorb change into existing budgets.
That there should be opportunity to engage in the ambition of a “good food nation” for all- communities, organisations, and sectors.
Fundamentally, the good food nation should be about ensuring we are creating a truly sustainable food system, which works to benefit local communities, whilst ensuring that the burden of responsibility is not placed on one authority to deliver- all levels must be accounted for. Locally, there is some stellar work ongoing, too, to ensure Aberdeen City’s food system is one in which sustainability is a clear priority, and where the quality of support interventions is integral:
Emergency Food Provision- ensuring all have access to food, even in an emergency
Community Pantries- food support with dignity and choice
Wider skills and employability
Keep Growing Aberdeen and “Granite City Growing”- an increasing emphasis on the power of growing your own
Skills for employment and life- employability and Warehouse Skills Development Programmes, Growing Skills for Employability, Happy Optimistic Positive Energised (HOPE)
Financial Maximisation to ensuring that people have the cash in their pocket to empower their own choices around which food they do and don’t eat- CFINE’s SAFE Team, Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland, Aberdeen City Council Financial Inclusion Team.
Collaborative approaches to long term systemic change- Granite City Good Food and its sub-groups (Aberdeen Community Food Network and Food Poverty Action Aberdeen)
Especially at a time when Granite City Good Food is days from applying for Sustainable Food Places Silver accreditation, this discussion must be one that continues to develop and involve all relevant communities. We are supporting the Scottish Food Coalition’s good food nation day of action, and you can too. Simply join the conversation on social media using #SFCDayOfAction You can engage with the work of CFINE, and Granite City Good Food on Social Media, and by getting in touch.