25/05/2016

Feeding Liverpool A Pilot Project of Feeding Britain

A large number of people who are concerned about food poverty in Liverpool attended the launch of ‘Feeding Liverpool’.

Feeding Liverpool is one of a growing network of local projects following the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK published in December 2014 and called Feeding Britain: A strategy for zero hunger in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The Inquiry was co-chaired by Frank Field MP and Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro. 

It is appropriate that Feeding Liverpool is an initiative of Churches Together in Merseyside and Region because faith groups are so often involved in the provision of food banks and other food projects.  But there is no intention to go it alone. Rather the object is to provide an arena for working in partnership with three main aims:
  • First – to share good practice about emergency provision;
  • Second – to campaign for change in those policies that cause or reinforce poverty;
  • Third – to raise public awareness about the extent of food poverty and the damaging effects of austerity measures on welfare provision. 
The launch on 20th May gave a taste of all three of these aims.  Speakers included Louise Ellman MP, Stephen Twigg MP, Niall Cooper (National Director of Church Action on Poverty), Councillor Jane Corbett (Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Fairness and Equalities), Kevin Peacock (CEO of St Andrews Community Network), Lynda Batterbee (Area Manager for the Trussell Trust), Archbishop Malcolm McMahon (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool) and Rev Phil Jump (Free Church Moderator for Merseyside).  There were also messages of support from Bishop Paul Bayes, Frank Field MP and Mayor Joe Anderson.

Feeding Liverpool wants to contribute to other efforts in the city to tackle food poverty such as the City Council’s Food Poverty Strategy Group in which it is being asked to take a lead role in engaging with local communities and learning from people’s lived experience.  As many of the participants are those on the frontline of provision, a key strength is to provide what Bishop Paul Bayes refers to as ‘a line of sight to the street and back’ in order to gain an understanding of the reality of food poverty today and its implications – not just for providers and policy makers, but for all of us who aspire to live in a society that is built around fairness and the wellbeing of all. 

Feeding Liverpool is co-chaired by Bishop John Rawsthorne, (retired Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hallam and former Auxiliary Bishop in Liverpool) and Professor Hilary Russell (Chair of LCVS and Together Liverpool). 

Photos, comments and video clips of the event are available on Twitter @feedinglpool   A short film of the event will be posted online soon.

For more information contact:
Steve Atherton, LACE, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 1AA
Email: s.atherton@rcaol.co.uk    Phone: 0151 522 1080