£30,000 emergency food fund to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis

In response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, we have announced a new fund to help community groups and organizations provide emergency food for people during winter 2022/23.

£30,000 has been made available for the Emergency Food Crisis Fund to support the most vulnerable people in Brighton & Hove who are most at risk of food insecurity.

Organizations can apply for funds up to a maximum of £5,000, depending on the number of beneficiaries they support. For more information about the Emergency Food Crisis Fund, visit our dedicated webpage.

City-wide effort

More work is taking place throughout Brighton & Hove to help meet the everyday food needs of those most affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

  • The Food Cell group, which was established to respond to emergency food needs during the pandemic, continues to collaborate with community partners and projects.
  • The council is delivering ongoing work detailed in the approved recommendations from the Policy & Resources Sub Committee in November 2021, such as the Food Access Commission.
  • Plans are underway to allocate the Household Support Fund (3) as soon as it comes from the central government in October 2022.
  • The council is continuing to prioritize cost-of-living work at a corporate level across all directorates.
  • In May, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, Citizen’s Advice Brighton & Hove and Brighton & Hove City Council launched a public appeal to help people in poverty with food costs.

Mounting pressures

Councilor Phélim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, said:

“We are taking the cost-of-living crisis with the seriousness the situation deserves and understand the colossal pressures people are facing due to ever-rising food and energy prices. Although there have been government commitments in the last week which will alleviate some of the pain for some of our most vulnerable residents, I remain deeply concerned.

“Although the funding that’s been announced is only a drop in the ocean, it will enable the council to provide some critically needed support to those who need it most right now.

“The latest survey from the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership shows the terribly shocking reality for residents across the city, unable to afford the food they need.

“More than 5,000 people have needed help from the city’s Emergency Food Network every week over the course of the last year, which should be a source of shame in the world’s sixth richest country.

“We continue to do all we can as a council – since May we’ve taken a series of actions to support households at the sharp end, increasing the amount to help with essential goods like fridges and ovens and helping residents access emergency support. We’ve launched the Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Crisis Fund and over £39,000 has been donated. We’ll agree more work at next month’s policy & Resources Committee.

“But we have never more needed significant and urgent action from central government – in deeds and funding – to continue to meet the needs of marginalized residents affected most sharply by the cost-of-living crisis.

“We are also working with public and private sector partners through the Greater Brighton Food Plan to address issues of food insecurity throughout the region. Fundamentally we need to develop a more sustainable and resilient food system that provides everyone with access to local, affordable and healthy food and prevent this kind of crisis happening again.”

Sustainable food systems

With food prices increasing and more people struggling to have enough to eat, there is an urgent need to find ways of increasing food security and access to affordable and healthy food.

The Greater Brighton Food Plan aims to find long-term solutions to food insecurity. It will bring together a working partnership to build resilience and integrate innovations across the city region, while helping to meet health, climate, and nature commitments.

Sourcing and growing food locally, making use of surplus food and supporting partnerships to work together on sustainable food supplies and systems has benefits for people and the planet.

Using more food and cutting out waste, the cost of packaging and transporting supplies, also cuts the cost of food for people.

We created a Good Food Standards policy in 2021 which aims to reduce poverty, support local businesses and minimize the environmental impact of food. We also signed a declaration supporting the Right to Food campaign and the Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration as part of our commitment to tackle the climate emergency through integrated food policies.

In 2020, Brighton & Hove became the first in the UK to win a Gold Sustainable Food City Award with campaigns for a more plant-based diet, less single-use plastics, and tackling food poverty.

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