Community Roots CIC were working in Stroud and began to look at bringing together organisations across the district who were supporting their communities around food poverty.
Community Roots and the Grace Network attended national community organising meetings about food poverty and heard Andrew Forsey speak about the work of Feeding Britain, this led to meetings with Andrew and the decision was made to reach out to organisations across Gloucestershire about the potential of Feeding Gloucestershire.
Our first meeting was chaired by Bishop Rachel and was attended by organisations from across the county. Conversations at this meeting showed that there was a need and an interest in the potential of Feeding Gloucestershire.
Saw the second countywide meeting of Feeding Gloucestershire, with organisations returning to continue the discussion and new organisations joining the conversation. From this meeting a Steering Group was formed.
We held the first meeting of the Feeding Gloucestershire Steering Group, with volunteers who represented organisations from across the county and included community organisations, councils and countywide organisations.
Also in November 2021 Community Roots began a series of conversations with organisations for the Gloucestershire Food and Farming Partnership across the county. These conversations have informed the work of Feeding Gloucestershire.
2022 the first 6 months
This first 6 months of 2022 saw an intense period of work on Feeding Gloucestershire vision, mission and aims, and how these would be delivered. This Statement of Strategic Intent was sent out to the organisations we had connected with for feedback and input, and a constitution was drafted.
Feeding Gloucestershire were fortunate to receive funding from Gloucestershire County Council and contracted a Project Manager and a Network Coordinator to enable the work to move forward.
During this time Feeding Gloucestershire also supported Gloucestershire Food and Farming Partnerships application for Gloucestershire to become a Sustainable Food Place, match funding a Sustainable Food Places grant to employ a project coordinator for the next 2 years.
2022 the final 6 months
The Organisational Conversations were completed and a report produced of the findings.
We began to have conversations with the district councils, exploring how Feeding Gloucestershire could support both existing and new work across the districts and the county.
September saw the launch of Feeding Gloucestershire hosted by Bishop Rachel.
The application to Sustainable Food Places was successful and a coordinator was recruited.
Late in 2022 it was decided the best way for Feeding Gloucestershire to move forward and deliver its Vision, Mission and Aims was for it to become a CIO.
Moving into 2023
We have begun 2023 with final preparations to launch both our membership offer and our website and beginning the process of becoming a CIO.
February will see the beginning of Feeding Gloucestershire’s work in the districts across the county, working with councils and organisations to explore the work that is currently happening and supporting new initiatives – with a central focus of food equity and justice, but recognising that food issues, and potential solutions, do not happen in isolation.
And we are currently planning our district launches.