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Friday 23rd November: Food Futures Forum: Food Poverty

Food Futures Forum meeting on Food Poverty with speakers from Public Health Manchester, Lifeshare, Greater Manchester Poverty Commission and Real Food Wythenshawe.


9.15am Drinks, registration and networking from 9.15am. Please arrive in time for a prompt start at 9.45am.

9.45am Welcome and introduction to the Forum

David Regan – Director of Public Health

 What is food poverty? – setting the scene.  Colin Cox – Public Health Manchester

The work of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission. Eileen Fairhurst – Greater Manchester Poverty Commission

Experiences of dealing with food poverty on the ground.  Judith Vickers – Lifeshare


11:00am Break for drinks and networking

Real Food Wythenshawe – establishing a secure food future for the people of Wythenshawe.  Faith Bulleyment – Creative Concern


Round up / next steps

 12.30pm Finish

The aim of the Forum is:

  •  To increase engagement and involvement with the Food Futures strategy and work on food poverty in the city
  • To encourage networking between partners
  • To support partners to take forward work on food poverty
  • To showcase key food projects

Contact: Christine Raiswell, Programme Manager – Food Futures Partnership, Public Health Manchester, Manchester City Council
Tel: (external) 0161 234 4268

When: Friday 23rd November 2012, 9.15am (Registration), 9.45am -12.30pm.

Where: Mechanics Centre, Princess Street, M1 6DD.

Update: Short Summary of Food Futures Forum held on 23rd November 2012. (Thanks to Maurice, Manchester FoE).

1) Attendance

The forum was well attended by about 100 participants coming from the region and mainly directly involved in food/health issues.

2) David Regan -Director of Public Health.

David led the meeting and emphasised that the challenge of Food and its nutritional intake in the Manchester region was becoming ever greater.

3) Colin Cox – Public Health Manchester

Colin gave some detailed information about the growing challenges including past and projected price rises, lack of money along with the lack of skills of many people, and the abundance of unhealthy foods. All of which was projected to get worse with Global Warming and Benefit changes.

This is likely to lead to an increase in infection and chronic diseases, plus malnutrition and obesity, which the new Local Authority responsibility for Public Health would have to combat. He emphasised the growing cost to the NHS of these trends.

4) Eileen Fairhurst Greater Manchester Poverty Commission.

Eileen said that the commission, which was supported by All Party M.P’s, had collected its data and was about to start on its recommendations, which they hoped to publish shortly. The data presented showed the tremendous difficulties people in poverty had to face in their daily lives.

5) Judith Vickers from Fareshare

Judith gave a short history of the growth of Fareshare, part of Emerge Manchester, and how the numbers it now served (nearly 9,000 in 2012) were more than double when it started in 2005. They were positive about their overall achievements in supporting many16-25 year olds to survive better in the region.

6) Questions.

The questions and contributions were wide ranging from, where to get support, the need for educational and skills for many people in food handling and consumption, to how to grow more own food to the way giant corporation worked in providing poor quality food, to how people should involve themselves in the wider political processes to try and bring change through democratic power.

7) Faith Bulleyment – Creative Concern

This scheme had obtained funding of £1 million from the Lottery Fund to develop; sustainable food production (indoor as well as outdoor), storage, marketing (including setting up enterprises), preparation and educational skills, of the people of Wythenshawe in order to improve nutritional food intake. The final plans were being drawn up encompassing wide participation and it is envisaged that many would be involved in this ambitious and wide ranging project which aims to be sustainable.


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