Ensuring access to nutritious food during the pandemic

Improving access to healthy, nutritious food is a foundation of the Move More Eat Well partnership plan. Sustainable food partner, Food Cardiff places emphasis on the fact that good food creates strong, healthy communities and made sure that this was a priority during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic posed a variety of challenges to people across Cardiff, particularly in relation to food access. These included people being unable to afford food, people unable to access food and the closure of local food businesses.

Food Cardiff established a COVID-19 Food Response Task Group with key partners to coordinate a city-wide response to support the most vulnerable people across the community of Cardiff.

The group supported the Council facilitated partnership of Anchor Organisations, who coordinated volunteer responses in specific areas, and food response partners who supported the physical distribution of food, including accepting referrals and receiving and storing food.

Food Cardiff relaunched its website, www.foodcardiff.com, as a COVID-19 information hub, offering support for businesses, food access advice, cooking and growing at home information. It also launched, #GoodFoodCardiff, aimed to celebrate the positive things that were happening during the pandemic and to bolster food response across Cardiff.

Over 49 organisations played an instrumental role in distributing or providing food to aid the city during the pandemic, including a range of key partners.

Using its existing infrastructure, Food Cardiff enabled the Food Response Task Group and Anchor Organisation model to reduce duplication and maximise impact and the holistic and responsive approach undertaken by Cardiff Council ensured Cardiff residents could both access and afford good food.

The challenges were a reality for many people in Cardiff as was revealed in Ask Cardiff’s 2020 survey. Using this information, Food Cardiff was able to identify levels of food insecurity in Cardiff (in accordance with international standard), with over three thousand people responding to the survey between October – November 2020.

The results showed that 1 in 10 respondents had eaten smaller meals or skipped meals completely due to not being able to afford food. Additionally, the survey showed that respondents who identify as disabled, those under 35 years of age, and those living in the Southern Arc of Cardiff were most likely to report they had not been able to afford or access food.

To find out more about Food Cardiff and how you can get involved, please visit the Food Cardiff website by clicking here.