On the 22nd June we had our sixth and final district launch and that was in Northleach at the Westwoods Centre for the Cotswold District. We had great representation across sector and conversations were so engrossed we ran late! We heard from Ed Bonn from the GREAT project about a new Zero Dig growing project in Cirencester, along with Anton providing an insightful look into the work the South Cotswold District Food bank is focusing on. We heard from the Cotswolds’ first food pantry, and we also had updates from the District Council.
This event was a platform for input and thoughts around a ‘Cotswold Food Network’ and what this could provide for the area. We will be pulling together the ideas, thoughts and aspirations in the coming weeks which will influence our journey ahead in the region.
As always food was a key theme of the day and following a decadent chocolate cake to get us going on arrival the team from the Long Table produced a wholesome and very tasty lunch for us all.
Both Debs and I reflected that we were sad to see the end of this series of in person events as each one has been inspiring and very insightful, most of all it has been a pleasure to meet so many passionate and motivate individuals all wanting to work together to strengthen our region’s food equity.
On March 22nd Feeding Gloucestershire facilitated a workshop to support the exploration of Affordable Food Club models in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.
The workshop brought together speakers from Food Pantries across the county to share their experiences in setting up and running food pantries with a membership model., the recording of this workshop can be found here.
Affordable food clubs, such as community pantries, larders and even food buses, are designed to help people on a low incomes stretch their budgets further. Joining an affordable food club means people can get food, and other essential items, for a lot less than their retail value (for example 10 items a week for £3.50).
Many affordable food clubs also offer other help – they can signpost you to other help such as debt advice, or they can offer advice drop in session. They can also offer social activities, including school holiday provision, community cafes and community growing opportunities.