NEW FUND GIVES A BOOST TO COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECTS IN FALKIRK
20 community food projects across Falkirk will share £300,000 in funding from the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund.
Falkirk Food Futures funding pot, delivered by charity Forth Environment Link (FEL) in partnership with NHS Forth Valley, CVS Falkirk and Falkirk Council, will help improve access to local food for local people.
Some of the projects to be funded include:
· Supporting California Community Hub to create a community learning space where people can develop their cooking skills, as well as providing regular opportunities for the community to eat together socially.
· Enhancing Falkirk Islamic Centre’s weekly food drop-in service and working to upskill volunteers and participants on cooking and food preparation.
· Creating a training kitchen for young people at Sheildhill Welfare Club, where they can develop front of house skills and gain barista experience, alongside the creation of outdoor growing areas.
Frank McChord, Operational Lead with Falkirk Council’s Community Learning and Development Unit said: “It is encouraging to see the positive impact Falkirk Food Futures is having on the communities we work with. Already we are seeing huge enthusiasm to develop ideas into projects, which simply would not have been possible without this funding.”
Lynsey Hanford, Development Officer with CVS Falkirk added: “The third sector has been at the forefront of supporting communities throughout the pandemic, and this funding is vital in helping these organisations do what they do best, which is improving access to healthy food.
“We have witnessed, first hand, the massive community effort it has taken to ensure people had access to the support services they needed over the last two years. This financial boost to these groups and organisations not only recognises what they have achieved, but will allow them to develop more sustainable food solutions that suit their own local communities.”
Falkirk Food Futures aims to continue and build on a wealth of the meaningful food and growing initiatives which have developed in the region over the past few years, of which several have contributed emergency support during the Covid pandemic.
Pamela Murray, Public Health Dietitian from NHS Forth Valley said: “We know the role community organisations play in terms of supporting and delivering health improvement work, at a local level. Their role, during the Covid pandemic, has been a lifeline to so many who have been struggling with food insecurity. This funding will ensure these organisations can do more work, with more people across Falkirk.”
Emily Harvey, FEL Development Manager, added: “We are delighted to bring the Falkirk Food Futures programme to the area. Alongside the community grants, we will be providing access to a range of other support, including digital training and carbon literacy classes.
“We are seeing lots of excitement amongst the funded groups who can’t wait to get started and are all committed to improving access to nutritious, affordable, dignified food.”
Forth Environment Link will also be offering a package of support to all food networks in Falkirk, including a Youth Food Ambassador Programme, community engagement and skills sharing events, capacity building and wellbeing training for food project organisers and their volunteers.
Successful Falkirk community groups receiving Community Renewal Funding include: Forth Valley Sensory Centre, Rainbow Women’s Muslim Group, Larbert Village Allotment Association, Braes Greenspace, Sustainable Thinking Scotland CIC, Keeping Larbert and Stenhousemuir Beautiful, First Step Development, Dennyloanhead Community Hall, Hallglen Food Bank, Denny YMCA, California Community Hub, Grangemouth Pantry, Falkirk Islamic Centre, Shieldhill Welfare Club, Coo Park United, Westfield Park Community Centre, Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association, TCV, Larbert and District Childminders Association, Birch Tree Farm Gardens.
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.