Community Food SEN Session: The Value of Collaboration in Food Provision Wed 1st July 2020

Summary of key points

 

  • Match resources with need
  • Not everyone wants to work in partnership
  • You can potentially find partnerships within partnerships!
  • Reduced staffing capacity (furlough) means you can’t always respond as quickly as required
  • Need to acknowledge self-interest, including our own!
  • Need to explore and discuss honestly at the beginning people’s expectations and their reason for being at the table
  • Partnership not always about who gets the money, some may be partnership to access services/food for their beneficiaries
  • Important to recognise that partnership working is not easy but it can work
  • Remember you do not always need to be the driver
  • Need shared vision/final destination – P4P can support this process
  • Mutual respect required
  • Third sector closest to people accessing food
  • Partnership led and driven by third sector but with local authority and NHS as important partners
  • Aim to maximise income for people – best way to solve food poverty is to make sure people have enough money
  • Cheaper to buy in bulk when trying to access basic provisions for people
  • Recognise different orgs have different needs, skills and resources – allow orgs to do what they’re good at. Just because you’re local doesn’t mean you’re the best placed org to produce/deliver food
  • Be careful of mission drift – particularly through chasing funding
  • Role of SG – strategic approach was missing, not joined up. Eg wellbeing fund – assessors were not asked to look at an org’s mission which meant you had employability orgs applying for funding for food provision
  • Tap into expertise of food networks and other support networks
  • Range of people referred – some with money, with some money or with no money. People were not triaged
  • Recognise wider implications of food. If you take people’s control of food away you make a bigger impact on that individual’s life.  Important to recognise choice as key.
  • Scope out what is already available in your area – don’t duplicate, complement, add value
  • Interest in session on bulk buying identified
  • Felt like there was a scattergun approach to support sometimes
  • Look at different models out there and explore what will work best for your community
  • Models/orgs mentioned – The Community Store, Community Focus Scotland (Annette), N Ireland social supermarket concept, coop consumer model, Brixton Pound, Brighton Hove