Issue - meetings
Food Poverty Strategy
That the Committee continue to support the ongoing work to address food poverty and food insecurity in Flintshire.
The Benefits Manager introduced the Food Poverty Strategy report which outlined the strategic priority of working towards addressing food poverty.
The draft Strategy, as shown in Appendix 1 of the report, had recently been presented and adopted by the Public Services Board (PSB) and would be published shortly. Flintshire’s Public Service Board supported the development of partnership initiatives aimed at the reduction of poverty within the County and recently endorsed the development and implementation of a Community Benefit Strategy which covered a range of strategic priorities, as detailed within the report.
As outlined within the report, there was clearly a high degree of agreement between the challenges and objectives identified by the multi-agency board and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), as well as the positive work currently undertaken by individual organisations in the community, e.g. food banks. Given the level of work currently on going within the County and the strategic and aspirational symmetry between the Flintshire’s multi-agency PSB and BCUHB, there was a need to explore and agree collective next steps and the contributions partners would make in achieving the goals associated with the reduction of food poverty.
The Benefits Manager outlined a number of key deliverables for year one, as set out within the report. One of the key deliverables was the introduction of the Holiday Hunger Programme which would be rolled out over the school summer holidays. Details of the Programme had been provided by Mr. Robbie Davison to the Committee prior to the start of the meeting.
In conclusion, the Benefits Manager reported that Flintshire had taken the lead in developing an alliance for North Wales to help better understand the regional issues around food poverty and food insecurity. It was hoped that engagement across the region in tackling these issues through sharing best practice; learning from experience and working cross sector would be considered during a food poverty conference to be held in North Wales in September, 2018.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Members for Housing thanked the Benefits Manager for the report but outlined his sadness at the need for such a report and the number of families across Flintshire who were in food poverty. He commented on the launch of the Holiday Hunger Programme which would be held on 19th July and hoped that the initiatives set out within the report would end food poverty, not just for children, but for unemployed people and pensioners in the future.
The Cabinet Members for Corporate Management said that as a Board Member for NEWydd who provided healthy school meals during term time he was pleased to see a scheme being provided during the school summer holidays for children to access healthy hot meals. The Cabinet Member for Social Services congratulated the Benefits Manager and her team and was pleased to see the joint working with the multi-agency PSB and BCUHB. She referred to the requirements which had been placed on Local Authorities by the Children’s Commissioner to tackle child poverty and was pleased ... view the full minutes text for item 18