Clacks Good Food is a partnership between local third sector groups with council support, aiming to reduce food inequalities in Clackmannanshire through a host of activities and opportunities at both business and personal level.
Clacks Good Food grew out of the need to help Scotland’s smallest county strengthen access to wholesome, nutritious, local food. It is the name given to a partnership between NHS Forth Valley, Clackmannanshire Council, Alloa First, and Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSI), and is delivered by Forth Environment Link (FEL).
Funding from the Soil Association is being matched by all these partners over the next two years, and supports Clackmannanshire Alliance’s commitment to reduce child and family poverty within the area. Currently, 6% of Clackmannanshire’s residents worry about running out of food, according to figures published as part of the Scottish Health Survey.
“This work is making a significant positive difference and the new funding will allow our community partnerships to build on the great work already underway, and make access to good quality, locally sourced food available to everyone.” – Fidelma Guest, NHS Forth Valley
With all of these organisations working together, and with such imperative goals, it made sense to appoint one person to represent the partnership and take the lead. FEL’s Stuart Guzinski is the new coordinator, ensuring that funding from all sources is put to the best possible use. The big picture aim is to improve regional approaches to food systems, and this is being tackled in a number of ways.
“Local food groups across the area, with support from volunteers, have worked incredibly hard over the last two years to provide food packs and meals to local people, along wth setting up a food delivery service, food pantry, and developing local growing spaces,” said Fidelma Guest, a dietitian with NHS Forth Valley’s Public Health Nutrition Team.
Some of the ways Clacks Good Food is tackling food inequalities include launching a Good Food Charter. This has actionable points for both businesses and organisations, and people in their private lives. Some examples of things people can do in their own homes include: “Eat Together”, which suggests we make mealtimes sociable and share good food in good company; and “Shop Local”, to keep money circulating in the local economy first.
Businesses, on the other hand, can commit to paying the Living Wage, or welcoming breastfeeding families. There are a number of outside-the-box ways to improve living in Clackmannanshire through small acts that lead to big change.
Other initiatives include ways to make Clackmannanshire more breastfeeding-friendly, to host outdoor cooking sessions for families, to provide Food Hygiene training to economically-inactive people, and to support the Forth Valley Food and Drink network.
“It is a great opportunity and everyone is behind this movement.” – Stuart Guzinski, Clacks Good Food coordinator
“The local commitment from all partners from a strategic level right down to local community food growers and third sector groups and businesses has been incredible,” said Stuart. “We now want to work towards the [Sustainable Food Places] Bronze award and see real change happening across our food systems to help people cope with cost of living increases and reduce our CO2 emissions at the same time.”
The Soil Association is the lead national organisation delivering Sustainable Food Places UK. Having their support is a boon to the partnership overall, and will help make Clackmannanshire a good food leader region for Scotland.