Why do we need a Bristol Local Food Fund?
There are so many brilliant community food projects in Bristol tackling food insecurity, but they struggle to access enough grant funding due to lack of time, capacity, knowledge and connections.
That's why we're launching the Bristol Local Food Fund (BLFF) - to bring Bristol together and create "one city" fund that can provide accessible, flexible funding to help those community food projects that are leading the fight against food insecurity.
Who is behind the campaign?
The Bristol Local Food Fund is project run entirely by volunteers, most of whom live in Bristol and care about food, community, sustainability and making a positive difference. The project started in July 2020 during the first lockdown by Mike Lloyd-Jones, a Bristol resident who has worked and volunteered in Bristol’s third sector for over ten years.
Bristol Local Food Fund is working in partnership with Bristol City Council, Burges Salmon, Feeding Bristol, Quartet Community Foundation on behalf of Bristol City Funds, and Bristol Food Network. The partners have been supporting the development through advice, support and connections to help the BLFF project develop. The money raised by the crowdfunder campaign - and any other donations to the project - will be held by Feeding Bristol and Quartet Community Foundation on behalf of the partnership.
The BLFF team have engaged with many community food projects in Bristol, to understand their needs and the needs of their community to ensure that BLFF is following an approach that is helpful and meeting their needs and the needs of their respective communities.
To make sure the fund truly serves people in the city who are most in need, BLFF will recruit a Citizen’s Panel, a team of people with lived experience of food poverty, to help to design the fund.
The panel members will be diverse and representative of many areas of Bristol, especially communities, areas and demographics that are most heavily impacted by food insecurity. The panel members will be remunerated for their time at the equivalent rate of the real living wage and will be professionally facilitated and supported through the design process.
The panel will likely take place from December 2021 to February 2022, with the first round of grants awarded in March 2022. The specifics of the fund - e.g. the awards process, eligibility criteria will be shaped by the Citizens Panel, but guided by principles of equity, accessibility, flexibility and a vision of making good quality, affordable food available to everyone.
The BLFF team will connect community food projects, partners, stakeholders and other relevant organisations in the city with the panel to ensure that a breadth of knowledge and information is shared, and that all voices are heard, fairly and openly.
The BLFF team and partners believe that following this approach will make the fund more effective and impactful because the people it aims to help will have a big say in how it is delivered.
What kinds of organisations will benefit?
The Bristol Local Food Fund will give grant funding to community food projects working in areas of greatest disadvantage in our city.
A lot of the decision-making about the grant process is for the Citizen's Panel, but we are committed to a fund that:
- Prioritises equitable outcomes - understands the structural problems that cause food insecuity, and is focussed on improving access to good quality, affordable food for people who are impacted most severely by food insecurity.
- Making the application, awards and monitoring/reporting processes of the grants as inclusive and as accessible as possible for people of every background, particularly those who are disproportionately impacted by structural inequalities.
- Giving flexibility to applicants and grantees - allowing them to spend grants - based on their own perceived needs
An example of how a grant might be spent:
At Heart of BS13 in Hartcliffe - where food insecurity affects 1 in 8 households - they are improving food security by providing affordable, nutritious ready meals - made by their Real Meal Store, which is sourced from their own market garden - the Kitchen Garden Enterprise.
Long term vision:
Our vision is a city where everyone has access to good quality, affordable, culturally appropriate food regardless of their background or situation.
£100,000 is nowhere near enough to solve food inequality in our city. We want this to be the first round that we’ll launch, learn from and go again.
We don’t just want to make a small one-off impact. Ultimately the BLFF team and partners hope to create a rolling fund that Bristol contributes to and supports on an ongoing basis – business, citizens, institutions – to help to build a truly fair food system in our city.
As an extra incentive to donate to this crowdfunder, we have an amazing array of rewards to choose from, offered by some of Bristol's finest local independent food and drink businesses.
Different rewards will be uploaded in phases, every week from campaign launch to close. This will help spread out the rewards and ensure a continuous flow of donations. All rewards will be processed and distributed at the end of the campaign (30th November 2021). Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions, or you are a business that would like to offer a reward yourself.
We are very grateful to Essential Trading for sponsoring the video production, to Sam Cole who went above and beyond to make this brilliant video: https://vimeo.com/samcole
And a special thanks to Nirmal Singh (Eastside Community Trust / Felix Road Adventure Playground), Kirsty Hammond (Heart of BS13), Jamie Cameron (Burges Salmon), Louise Delmege (National Food Service Bristol), Samira Musse (Barton Hill Activity Club) and Laura Welti (Bristol Disability Equality Forum) for giving up their time to appear in our video!