Bristol FOOD Clubs
FOOD (Food on Our Doorsteps) Clubs have been running in Bristol since July 2019 and are run by Family Action, Feeding Bristol, Fareshare South West and Bristol Early Years. The FOOD Club model started in Manchester and was brought to Bristol as a response to our growing concerns about the high level of food insecurity for families with young children and also the alarming amount of good quality food which goes to waste.
FOOD Clubs are located in Early Years Settings and community spaces and are targeted to families who are at risk of food insecurity as a sustainable long-term solution. Each Club is open for a two-hour session once a week and families come during this time to collect their food. Families can join the club for a £1 a year membership fee and then pay £3.50 for a bag of Fareshare produce which is usually worth around £15. This produce has come straight from the manufacturers and distributers, rather than via supermarkets, so it is high quality ingredients including meat, dairy, store cupboard basics and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Produce is also sourced from local growers including The Community Farm to ensure that families have access to fresh fruit and vegetables every week.
The Clubs are run by Family Action in conjunction with the Family Services teams across Bristol and local volunteers.
FOOD Clubs also offer demonstrations, cookery courses (led by Learning Communities) and support from the Family Services teams. Through the FOOD Clubs members also have opportunities to volunteer and gain valuable work experience and qualifications such as Food Hygiene. Two volunteers have now gained paid employment as support workers for Family Action.
There are currently 15 FOOD Clubs across Bristol and each club can provide food for up to 50 families a week. Families can become members by applying through their Early Years setting or support worker or being referred by an outside agency. During the Covid 19 pandemic we have developed safe practices so that families do not have to enter the building to receive their food and can attend at a designated time slot to minimise risk. During this time, we are unable to offer courses and demonstrations but continue to offer additional support for families with creativity packs, books, and activities.
Bristol Early Years Food Contact