Food Cardiff is in the privileged position of being able to help with the response to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, and we are highly motivated to do as much as we can to help.
A safe, resilient, equitable and accessible food supply is vital to everyone. But there are some actions we must take to facilitate an immediate response for those in need; and some actions that are about building the safe, fair, resilient and sustainable systems that we all need for the future.
The challenges are many. Food businesses find themselves unable to operate as usual, but the security of supply chains is still of the utmost importance. Getting food to people who are vulnerable or who may be self-isolating etc is essential, as is ensuring the current crisis doesn’t exacerbate existing inequalities in access to good food.
There is good news. We have seen an inspirational response across public sector organisations, businesses, communities, grassroots movements and volunteers. Between them they are supporting NHS workers and each other – and by helping to get food out to self-isolating and vulnerable people, those experiencing food poverty.
We want to use the Food Cardiff partnership as a valuable asset to help people to continue to work together. We want to showcase and facilitate the community actions and collaborations which are taking place all over Cardiff, and show that even at a time of crisis, people are making things happen to ensure that everyone can access good, affordable food.
What are we doing?
We have created a briefing for Cardiff Council, looking at the three main challenges as a result of the pressure exerted on the food system from demand (panic buying), availability of resource (staff and volunteers), and closure of public services (e.g. children accessing Free School meals, day centres for older adults), and provided advice on how these can be addressed. We have published this as a resource for other local authority areas through Food Sense Wales. Read it here.
We are working to implement this in Cardiff by through our Covid-19 Food Response Task Group, to bring together public, private and third sector responses. Read more about this.
Additionally, we are also working with the Edible Cardiff network to support a huge growing effort across the city – more details on that to come soon.
We have joined up with Oxfam Cymru and the anti-poverty coalition in writing to The First Minister to outline our concerns for people in poverty in Wales, and to offer recommendations to inform Welsh Government’s response. Read the open letter here.
We are also linking in with Welsh Government and national initiatives via Food Sense Wales (part of Cardiff & Vale Health Charity) to create a joined-up response to the Covid-19 crisis, to ensure that every household in Wales receives good food. Visit the Food Sense Wales website to find out more.