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New report to tackle food insecurity in Plymouth

Many households are ‘just managing’ to make ends meet following the COVID-19 pandemic

Author: Sophie SquiresPublished 1 hour ago

A new report is investigating community-led business solutions to manage the collection and distribution of food in Plymouth.

The City Council says research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has tipped households that were ‘just managing’ to make ends meet into food insecurity.

The report will be launched at an event on 18 November as part of the Social Enterprise Festival 2021.

Aimed primarily at food aid organisations, the event will invite discussion around the pros and cons of alternative community led options for reducing dependency on food aid in Plymouth.

The report, ‘Co-operative options for Food Aid providers in Plymouth’ was funded by DEFRA and is aimed at identifying a co-operative business model solution for Plymouth to manage food-aid activities in a more sustainable and inclusive way.

Three different co-operative business models will be presented for discussion at the event and include the following organisations:

  • Food retail co-operatives – Farley’s Food Coop and Cooperation Town
  • Bulk buying and Co-operative Distribution Centres – The Arc and Gloucester Holiday activities and Food programme (HAF)
  • ‘Added Value’ Food Co-operatives – Co-operative futures

Councillor Vivien Pengelly, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “We are really pleased that the first phase of this report by Co-operative Futures has been finalised. Addressing how we tackle food poverty in Plymouth is an incredibly important activity.

“I look forward to attending the launch event around community led business solutions as part of the Social Enterprise Festival where we can address how best to tackle food insecurity and food waste in the city.”

Cllr Vivien Pengelly – Plymouth City Council

Plymouth City Council commissioned the report, produced by Co-operative Futures, the first phase of which was written with input from various stakeholders, including Food Plymouth and University of Plymouth.

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