Green councillor and Executive Member Denise Craghill gave her approval on Mon 14th Feb to a proposal for a new council post to help tackle food poverty in York. The new post will focus on supporting and strengthening existing food networks in the city in response to growing numbers of individuals and families finding the need to choose between fuel bills, food and other essentials.
She said ‘The pressure to choose between fuel bills, eating or other basics is probably only going to get more acute in the coming months. I hope the new postholder will be able to focus on working with and strengthening our city wide food networks. The York Food Poverty Alliance already brings together a truly amazing network of grassroots food groups and volunteers, many of whom combine providing free or Pay As You Feel food to anyone who needs it with the repurposing of in-date leftover supermarket food that would otherwise go to waste. They also provide informal easily accessible social support and an easy ‘way-in’ for people who are struggling to more formal parts of the support network. They are often run by volunteers with very little spare capacity to share information and build the network.
Hopefully this post can help to join up the dots between informal and more formal networks and help to scale up the operation to meet growing needs, resulting in re-purposing more waste supermarket food, providing more food to people who are in immediate need and also building the links between meeting immediate needs and helping people back into improved incomes and independence. I’m really pleased that we have been able to progress this new post despite the budget difficulties the council is facing.’