When they meet on Tuesday 16 March, Flintshire’s Cabinet Members will recognise the enormous community effort made over the past 12 months and will also welcome the progress made in tackling food poverty and food insecurity in Flintshire.
Community groups have long played a key role in supporting vulnerable residents in Flintshire. Since the start of the pandemic, many local community groups have stepped up to offer help and support to their neighbours and, as a Council, we recognise and thank them for the work that they have done and continue to do.
Volunteers have been the backbone of this community support throughout the pandemic with support often localised which has had a positive impact on their community and brought people together.
To complement this, Flintshire has been growing the role it plays in supporting its local people and has been working towards implementing long term sustainable food programmes; community groups can be key partners in this.
The Council values and supports this and believes that, moving forward, we can work together to offer a more rounded and sustainable form of support which not just tackles food poverty but which engages and responds to wider social issues such as welfare support, benefits checks, housing advice and much more.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Assets, Councillor Billy Mullin, said:
“This year has raised some significant challenges, however rather than constrain progress they have created opportunities which have enabled us to make a positive impact and allowed us to bring some of our future ambitions for delivery and business transformation forward.”
Our achievements to date have included:
- “Share your Lunch” food programmes (2018 and 2019) each one has provided thousands of meals to children during these holiday periods.
- Packed lunches delivered to home for children who could not access their free school meals due to COVID-19, then direct payments initiated which continued through the school holidays.
- Support for vulnerable and shielding residents during lockdown with the delivery of a weekly food box, which continued in one form or another after the first lockdown ended.
- Development of a slow cooker pilot to meet and work with the families, understand their relationship with food to encourage families to cook fresh food together and eat together. This programme was suspended due to COVID-19 but will start up as soon as the current situation has improved
Councillor Mullin continued:
“I’m really pleased to be involved as Cabinet Member in supporting this work, at times it’s been challenging for our staff and volunteers but they have been resolute in their determination to make a big contribution and difference to the people of Flintshire
“We also want to build on our relationships with our local community groups who are doing tremendously good work. By working together, we can offer more broad based support and offer the best possible opportunities to our residents.”