Emily O'Brien

Emily O'Brien

Emily O'Brien is the Food Partnership's Project Manager

The government are currently consulting on a document that outlines how local welfare provision should be funded 2015 to 2016.

The proposal is to scrap the current Local Discretionary Social Fund which we see as an absolutely vital fund that helps meet the needs of people who are on a low income and experience an emergency.

Food poverty has been in the news again this week, focussing on the increase in food bank use in the city, with the number of food banks rising from two to twelve in just a couple of years.

Food banks are an emergency response and are accessed through a referral process (for example from a health visitor or advice worker). They offer support on a time-limited basis and have different target groups (some focus on neighbourhoods, others are only for families of very young children).

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership have just submitted evidence to the long awaited national Parliamentary Enquiry into hunger and food poverty. In our submission, we argue that food poverty in our city continues to increase, with all its horrible implications for the health and – given the cost of poor diets to the NHS - the wealth of the city.

We have just updated our on-line advice for people who are struggling to afford a healthy diet.  Information found here now includes budget eating advice and links to organisations which can help in offering money advice.

The information also includes detailed information  aimed at advisors, volunteers and health professionals with instructions on how to refer to local food banks.

We are emerging from recession – or so I keep hearing. So why is food poverty continuing to increase? And are we destined to see food banks as a permanent feature of our city?

In the last year, food poverty has become a national news story, and in Brighton & Hove we have seen a rise in people turning to food banks and other emergency help.