At our April session, the Edinburgh Poverty Network had guest speaker, Brenda Black from Menu for All, a steering group leading the strategy around ending poverty-related hunger in Edinburgh.

Menu for All are working with the City of Edinburgh Council, combining food and support access across the city. They are making powerful changes in the food chain by shifting the perspective in society and in the media on food aid. They respond to need and coordinate capacity across Edinburgh and support those most in need in times of crises by allowing them to tap into accessible and reliable services.

A very sobering presentation of facts. There are 87,500 people in poverty in the UK, who are ‘food insecure’, which means they cannot access or afford food. Within that number, nearly 17,000 children were living in poverty. Food banks were high on the agenda during our discussions and it was agreed they were not the way forward in the long-term, for people living in poverty. People need balanced meals and the dignity to make choices about what they eat and how they spend their money in times of crises. The Cash First work that is underway is being delivered by CHAI, with a new co-ordinator in place, whilst the Diffley Partnership have carried out a systematic review of the funding and provision of food-based responses to poverty and inequalities in Edinburgh.

You can view the full presentation here.