Tackling food poverty by developing a coordinated and sustainable approach across the county is a key priority area for the Anti-poverty strategy. The rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits and unemployment mean increasing numbers of people have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry.
There is little accurate data on either usage or demand for emergency food relief across Derbyshire. Our food banks report that over the past 18 months demand has tripled. Clay Cross Food Bank alone reported that it fed 2,557 people in 2013, compared with 944 in 2012 - an increase of 171%.
Derbyshire's rural nature presents a range of food challenges. Residents often live some miles away from cheap supermarkets and may not be able to afford the bus fare to travel into major towns to shop. Food choices are limited (particularly access to fresh fruit and vegetables) and considerably more expensive.
Our aim is to ensure that Derbyshire residents do not have to rely on food banks to provide meals for themselves or their families.
To achieve this aim we have set out the following objectives:
- Work with the growing number of food banks across Derbyshire, coordinating effort and support, targeting those areas in greatest need.
- Explore opportunities for other sustainable solutions to address food poverty such as social enterprise models that bulk buy or avoid food waste.
- Monitor trends and the use of food banks so that partners have accurate data.
- Develop a local food and nutrition strategy for Derbyshire.