As of mid-January, 16 FOOD clubs are running across Bristol supporting up to 1,000 of Bristol’s most vulnerable families, all thanks to a partnership between national charity Family Action, FareShare South West and Feeding Bristol. FOOD Clubs are an initiative which see families pay a small weekly fee to access plentiful and nutritious surplus food, which in Bristol is supplied by us.
The first two FOOD Clubs were established in September 2019 in Hartcliffe and Southmead and on Tuesday 19th January 2021 the 16th – and final in this series of openings – launched in Lawrence Weston. The FOOD Clubs are mostly located in children’s centres, community centres or even schools and churches. Families typically pay £3.50 per week and receive a selection of fresh and ambient foods, with each family usually taking home between £10-£15 worth of food.
FOOD stands for Food On Our Doorstep and whilst a key purpose of the clubs is to provide families with affordable shopping, there is also a real emphasis on creating a sense of community and support around food, with the clubs across Bristol working alongside Children’s Kitchen and Incredible Edible, promoting the principles of growing, picking, cooking and eating well.
Julian Mines, CEO of FareShare South West says: “Establishing a series of these FOOD Clubs across Bristol is a key part of providing targeted and sustainable solutions to food poverty in our region and play a huge part in preventing children from going hungry. With the projects all receiving in-date good quality surplus food – of which there is a constant and plentiful supply – the issue of hunger is being tackled alongside the issue of food waste.
The need for these FOOD Clubs was significant before the pandemic, and clearly with more families finding themselves in vulnerable situations, they will continue to be a vital safety net for the city. We’re grateful to our partners at Family Action and to Feeding Bristol for working with us to provide this kind of positive and on-going support.”
Simon Green, FOOD Clubs Coordinator Bristol and South West, from Family Action says: “To have set up 16 different clubs in Bristol and a further 4 across the South West region in just over 18 months is a staggering achievement. These Bristol based FOOD Clubs have the capacity to support 1,000 of the city’s most vulnerable families, which equates to more than 2000 individuals. These are strategically placed in targeted areas around the city. Having local partners like Feeding Bristol and FareShare South West as well as working with the local council’s Early Years teams are what make these FOOD Clubs the success that they are. They know the areas of need well and can ensure these clubs are established in settings people already access. The model means not only do these families receive food, but they can also receive other support and guidance in the same setting.”
Ped Asgarian from Feeding Bristol says “FOOD Clubs have had a positive impact since first being introduced in Bristol. With the help of FareShare South West, they are able to provide nutritious food at a price that is affordable, and often in areas that have limited access to those resources. During the covid-19 pandemic, the number of FOOD clubs grew out of a need to provide food during the crisis, but their long-term impact will be beneficial to improving food security within the city. We are delighted that the 16th club has opened, and we look forward to growing the offer and partnership in the future.”
The FOOD Club locations include Knowle West, Hartcliffe, Patchway, Lockleaze, Speedwell, Bedminster and Oldbury Court.
For more information about the FOOD Clubs initiative visit: Food On Our Doorstep – Family Action (family-action.org.uk)
For information on Feeding Bristol and their role within the city, visit: Feeding Bristol