Food Poverty Action Aberdeen (FPAA) is published its Action Plan last week. The Action Plan focuses on food poverty and insecurity in Aberdeen city but also acknowledges the magnitude of other difficulties such as fuel, period and funeral poverty. FPAA is a partnership of 76 organisations, committed to tackling food poverty and insecurity where it exists in the city.
Data collected through FPAA’s partners show growth in food poverty and insecurity in Aberdeen city. The evidence gathered by the partnership clearly identifies the UK Government’s Welfare Reforms as the main cause of the growth. FPAA calls for changes in policies, particularly in Universal Credit, to prevent and alleviate future issues related to poverty generally, and food poverty in particular. Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), a local charity, social enterprise and Food Poverty Action Aberdeen lead partner, created a graph to illustrate the increase in needs and demand for emergency food aid. CFINE is distributing around 100 emergency parcels daily Monday to Friday and other FPAA partners have experienced similar growth too.
The partnership is urging Aberdeen City Council (ACC), Community Planning Aberdeen (CPA), Aberdeen’s Welfare Reform Board (WRB), National Health Service (NHS) organisations and the Sustainable Food City Partnership Aberdeen (SFCPA) to make tackling food poverty and insecurity a priority. Acceleration on the existing commitments that have been made and partnership working between the organisation and FPAA is crucial to reduce, and work towards ultimately eradicating food poverty/insecurity.
“Food poverty and insecurity is an outrage in 2019, however, sadly this is a reality” – said Dave Simmers, chairperson of FPAA and chief executive of CFINE. “For those on low incomes in Aberdeen, the perceived affluence of the city reinforces their situation and can adversely impact on people’s sense of self-esteem and well-being. Such is the scale of the challenge, as evidenced by FPAA’s experience, the only effective response can be through partnership working with agreed aims and goals between the public, voluntary and, where possible, private sectors and through involving those with lived experience of having to struggle daily to feed themselves and their families” – he added.