The council hosted an Open Space event on Thursday 20 July that saw Mayor John Biggs, community organisations, residents, stakeholders and council officers across social care, welfare, housing and public health share ideas, experiences and ways to address the issue of food poverty.
Food poverty can be defined as the inability to obtain healthy, affordable food. Tower Hamlets is the one of the most deprived boroughs in London and 10th most deprived in England.
Mayor John Biggs said: “We are committed to doing all we can to tackle issues like food poverty that’s why later this year we will be launching a new £5m tackling poverty fund in Tower Hamlets.
“Tackling poverty isn’t something the council can do alone though and this event is a great way for residents and local organisations to share their ideas on how we can ensure no one is going hungry in Tower Hamlets.”
After demonstrating its commitment to action, the Greater London Authority (GLA) awarded the council £5,000 in funding to develop a food poverty action plan to strengthen this work. Tower Hamlets is one of five boroughs to receive the funding and support from the GLA to see the action plan through.
The open space event focused on addressing wider issues which contribute to individuals and families experiencing either short- or long-term food poverty. Open Space is a method used all around the world to hold better, more productive meetings, where attendees set the agenda and topics of discussion for themselves on the day.
Cllr Rachael Saunders, lead member for adult services said: “This event was a key step in producing an action plan that will last and adapt to the future. The priorities were set by people who have seen food poverty first hand and have helped us focus our strategies going forward.”
Following the event, a steering group was created to develop the action plan, made up of a range of stakeholders including community groups and residents.
Posted on Wednesday 26th July 2017